The reality of the marijuana breathalyzer may soon be on the horizon. A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer has reportedly developed the first inception of a breath test aimed at giving law enforcement agencies the tools to bust stoned motorists.
According to a report by CTV News, the Cannabix Breathalyzer was developed by retired RCMP drug enforcement agent Kal Malhi, who says he was moved to develop the device based on his belief that fear of prosecution is ultimately what deters the average person from getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
"People are becoming very afraid to drink and drive nowadays because they feel that they will get caught and charged, but they’re not afraid to drug and drive because they don't feel that law enforcement will do anything about it," said Malhi, adding that he feels confident his invention will change that.
Malhi’s cannabis-detecting contraption, which was developed under the engineering guidance of Dr. Raj Attariwala and Dr. Bruce Goldberger, is said to work similar to that of traditional breath tests used for year by police agencies to gauge alcohol impairment.
There is some question whether this breath analysis will have the capacity to detect drugged driving with the level of accuracy required where marijuana in concerned. Although Malhi and his team report the Cannabix Breathalyzer is able to detect if a motorist has consumed marijuana within the past two hours, marijuana advocates are concerned that the test will incriminate drivers who are not necessarily stoned.
Earlier last year, in an article entitled “The Problem With the Pot Breathalyzer” HIGH TIMES reported that while the pot breath test is able to detect the presence of marijuana, it is in no way an indicator of impairment. Recent studies have shown that these sobriety tests are able to expose marijuana on a person’s breath for a period of up to 24 hours, but none of their data connects these findings with being under the influence – “such as Breathalyzer detection of alcohol at levels above .08 in blood have been correlated as valid predictors of alcohol-induced driver impairment.”
Despite the obvious controversy surrounding the idea of a marijuana breathalyzer, Malhi hopes to complete some additional field sobriety tests and present his sobriety test to Canadian officials for their consideration within the next 18 months.