A Scientific Breakthrough Brings Us Closer to a Weed Breathalyzer

Illustration for article titled A Scientific Breakthrough Brings Us Closer to a Weed Breathalyzer

Law enforcement officers around the country are anxiously waiting on the day when a portable weed breathalyzer becomes reality, so they can stop relying on the scientifically dubious roadside munchies test. Thankfully, one Californian company claims to be almost there


Hound Labs has developed what they claim will be the first accurate, portable breath-based device that can detect THC levels. The current ‘driving while stoned’ test relies on a blood draw, and while other companies are also working on pot breathalyzers, Hound thinks it will win the race.

The company hasn’t released many details on the technology: it will be accurate down to the picogram of THC, it won’t be able to pick up on weed ingested through edibles, and it should be entering clinical trials next year, in collaboration with UC Berkeley.

To bring DWI standards for marijuana up to the same level as alcohol will require more than just a breathalyzer, though. There’s currently no set legal limit for the amount of THC in your body—it’s just a zero-tolerance policy. Worse, there’s very little by way of scientific data to help set guidelines. In other words: some people need to get stoned for science, and soon.

[Hound Labs via Gizmag]


I’ve had arguments with people over the dangers of driving while stoned. I don’t care who smokes what (I’m a drinker, who am I to judge?) but I can’t imagine it’s a good idea to drive after smoking.