The quest to legalize marijuana throughout the country has become a topic of conversation with just about anyone.
Whether it’s for medical use, recreational use, or both, the inevitable reality of marijuana becoming a legal substance is happening. And the moneymaking opportunities are clearly there.
Even so, there’s still hesitation towards total legalization because there are so many “what if” questions that have yet to be answered.
Especially coming from the government’s side… it wants to control and monitor the use of marijuana the same way it does with alcohol.
There is one thing it can depend on: knowing some people will abuse substances, legal or not. And that type of abuse can lead to harmful outcomes…
According to a study conducted by the Automobile Association of America’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state had legalized the recreational use of the drug.
Obviously, there are concerns of the effects legalization would have on public safety.
However, science still finds it too arbitrary to determine if there is such thing as a “legal limit” for marijuana use while driving — especially since marijuana affects everyone differently.
It’s only a matter of time until laws go into effect that’ll determine what is considered to be a “passable” tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level while driving, which is why companies like Cannabix Technologies Inc. (OTC: BLOZF) and Hound Labs, Inc. (private) have been researching and developing a breathalyzer technology that will test THC levels in a person’s breath.
Hound Labs has created a dual breathalyzer that can detect and measure THC in breath. It only takes one or two breaths to be able to uncover THC levels to well below 500 picograms in just a few minutes. Prior to this, the only way to really measure THC was for law enforcement and employers to take saliva, urine, and/or blood samples that would be tested later on.
Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh had this to say:
We, the police in California, were hoping to have a scientific approach if we were going to legalize; a machine where we could say, “Ok, you have this much marijuana in your system.”
While the patent is still pending on Hound Labs’ device, it’s getting added to many police departments’ tech wish lists… They’re waiting for the day that it will be available for roadside use.
Hound Labs isn’t the only company creating a marijuana breathalyzer… Cannabix Technologies has also been working with Yost Research Group at the University of Florida to create its own device.
Testing THC from methods like saliva, sweat, blood, or urine is ineffective because there’s no way of telling if someone used marijuana before they got into their car or at a weekend party two weeks ago.
Hound Labs’ Chief marketing officer Jenny Lynn said:
THC stays in body fluids for many days or even works… Breath is the exception. THC can only be measured in breath for a couple of hours, then it disappears. This two-hour period aligns with the window of impairment identified by researchers.
Hound Labs’ breathalyzer is expected to be out by the end of 2017, while Cannabix’s device still has a projected production timeline of 12 to 18 months from now.
It’s an arms race to be the first to create the first device that will be adopted by law enforcement (and possible employers) nationwide, and it looks like Hounds Labs is ahead.
Until next time,
Pro Trader Today