One of the most talked about needs in the cannabis industry today is a reliable breathalyzer test. Many people raise concerns about people driving while high after marijuana legalization. But according to a new article from Wired, we may never have that reliable test.
A new article on Wired detailed the many reasons why it's difficult to determine if a person is too high to drive. (Obviously, we would highly recommend you never drive after using marijuana.) Police officers can take drivers to a police station and take a blood test to determine how much THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana that makes you "high," but that isn't an entirely reliable way to determine if someone's impaired.
There are a variety of factors that determine how much marijuana will actually affect a person. This includes genetics, how often they use cannabis, the method of consumption, how much they ate that day and so much more. So a certain level of THC in one person's body will send them over the moon, while another person it may barely have an effect at all.
Another issue is THC does not act the same as alcohol. Alcohol can leave a person's body pretty quickly. So if you had a couple of drinks a few hours ago, your body will quickly get rid of those chemicals and leave you feeling sober. But THC isn't the same. It can be absorbed by the tissues in the body and stay in your system for weeks without you feeling any effects.
Ironically, THC also doesn't stay in the body for very long. In about 90 minutes after using marijuana, 90 percent of the THC in your blood will be gone. So hypothetically, you could start driving immediately after smoking cannabis, get pulled over by a cop, get taken back to the station for the blood test and by the time it's actually completed, all the THC is gone from your blood.
Even startups that claim they've found reliable ways to accurate test the amount of THC in a person's body can't determine impairment, because THC affects everyone differently. Setting a standard similar to the 0.08 limit for alcohol isn't fair, because the same THC levels can produce wildly different levels of impairment depending on the person.
So we may never have reliable test to determine impairment for drugged driving.