There are many dangers and risky consequences of using marijuana before driving: Marijuana genuinely impedes your motor function and clouds your perception and judgment, all of which are essential to safely operate a vehicle. For this reason it’s illegal to drive if a person is abusing marijuana. However, many people are not aware of this, or they know it, but figure it is okay “just this one time”. Whatever the case, it is just as much a violation of the law as driving after drinking alcohol.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is a huge issue in the United States. A 2007 study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration found that 8.7 percent of individuals driving around the evening hours on a weekend while abusing marijuana. 4 times the rate of drivers who had consumed enough alcohol to affect their ability to drive.
With these impaired drivers, police need a simple test to check if an individual is under the influence of marijuana, in the same way as they check for alcohol. Unfortunately, there isn’t one—yet.
A Marijuana Breathalyzer
With alcohol, police can test a driver’s breath and immediately determine if the person has enough alcohol in their system to impair their driving by using a gadget called a breathalyzer. Today Alcohol Rehabilitation Center says that this method works because liquor vapors quickly leave the body. This also implies that the breathalyzer only measures alcohol that has been recently consumed. Measuring marijuana, however, ends up being much more intricate.
A research in Today Alcohol Rehabilitation Center shows that weed can affect an individual’s body a lot longer than alcohol. It can be detected in blood tests of heavy users up to stick around a month after their last time smoking. So in practice, substantial cannabis users could test positive in a blood test for marijuana regardless of whether or not they are currently experiencing the effects of the drug.
This suggests there’s a big need for a test that can tell when an individual has used marijuana within the past few hours, the point at which it will have the greatest effect on driving capacity. This method would allow police to determine if a person was under the influence regardless of whether he or she uses the drug habitually or just occasionally.
Researchers in many addiction treatment rehab are working hard on the issue, and this previous fall a group of researchers at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program had a leap forward: the first successful test of a marijuana breathalyzer.
Getting High for Science
In a study from an addiction treatment rehab an adult group of frequent marijuana users and a corresponding group of periodic marijuana-users each smoke a solitary marijuana cigarette (with a precisely measured dose of THC) and afterward give breath samples using a gadget called Sensabues. Both groups tested positive up to an hour later, and continuous users tested positive after 2 hours.
So far it’s not flawless, and despite the fact that the collection device is extremely portable, the apparatus to test the results isn’t, so there are still a few hurdles. However, it is one stage closer for addiction treatment rehab in making the roads more secure from drugged drivers.