Trail/Blazing: California Scientists Collaborate On A Breathalyzer For Bud

In the words of author and noted drug user William S. Burroughs, "A man under the influence of weed is completely unfit to drive a car."  Now, with cannabis use exploding in the United States, and rules on its legality constantly shifting, a quantitative measure to ensure road safety for reefer-heads is being undertaken by technology...

Rolling stoned?  You might get no satisfaction.
(Image courtesy theweedblog.com.)

According to CBS News, a new "marijuana breathalyzer" is in the works, and could debut as soon as next year.  Oakland, California's Hound Labs is developing the device in an effort to keep roads safe from potentially impaired drivers.

Solid slogan.
(Image courtesy thc.me.)

The device would double as a normal breathalyzer as well, which could expediently determine any possible driver-impairment issues. Hound Labs' CEO Dr. Mike Lynn explained, "The idea is that law enforcement will have one device out on the road to test for both THC [the marijuana component that gets you blazed] and alcohol."

Other tests that can detect THC (such as ones given to workplace employees) are able to detect past usage during a certain period, but lack the immediacy of a test that can measure real-time intoxication.  Although one's suspiciously dank scent, red eyes, Twinkie consumption, and general laxablazical nature can be a tip-off, soon there may be a more definitive means of determining how hard you were ripping the bong or nipping the blunt.

Remember kids, growling "CANDY BARS!" doesn't help.
(Image courtesy eastcoastcannabis.us.)

Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley (who likely know a thing or two about ganja usage in their free-spirited vicinity) are collaborating with Hound Labs on the device.  It will be tested by police during roadside stops in the San Francisco area, as well as in clinical trials. 

But don't think Dr. Lynn is doing this to harsh your mellow, man.  While California's state law considers 5 nanograms of THC to be technical intoxication, Lynn is not sold on that standard.  He believes that proper quantification of highness levels could lead to a better regulation for drivers (because 5 nanograms probably doesn't have you tripping balls so badly that you can't drive.)  However, he wants users to be aware of their impairment so that their fun doesn't ruin another's day.

"Every single death or injury from an impaired driver is preventable and there aren't many things in life like that that are preventable," Lynn said.


Preventing the usage of drugs is a joke,
but preventing their abuse can save lives.
(Image courtesy supermookinfiends.com.)

And please, if you see one of these devices being tested in the wild, don't ask the officer who pulled you over to "Pass it and lemme hit that shit, maaaan"...even if you're sober.  Cannabis culture stereotypes make all who enjoy the leaf look bad.


"Call me 'maaaan' one more time and I'll bite your dirty toes off, hippy."
(Image courtesy pinterest.com.)

1 comment: