A Colorado Company known as Lifeloc Technologies is currently working on developing a hand-held breathalyzer to detect the amount of active THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) in a person’s body. The device will test whether or not a person is intoxicated (high) at the moment they breathe into the device. This is seen as a large improvement over current drug-screening technologies that only indicate past use in an undefined timeframe, which is not helpful for proving on-the-scene impairment for something like a DUI investigation.
Marijuana breathalyzer technology is new, but the company working on its development is not. Lifeloc has been around for 31 years selling alcohol breathalyzers and drug-screening equipment to clients all across the world. They’re serious about unveiling and commercializing the device as soon as possible and it seems they have the support and money to do so.
So far they’ve put $500,000 of their own money into developing the device, demonstrating a high level of confidence in its success. On top of that, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade awarded the company a grant totaling $250,000. With $750,000 in the bank they have officially compiled the amount of money CEO Barry Knott has said will be necessary to build the device. Colorado Law Enforcement officials have expressed great interest in the device and are excited to know a commercial version may be ready as soon as 2016.
If the device is successfully unveiled, it will potentially be a groundbreaking development for law enforcement. Officers would be able to immediately tell whether someone they had stopped on the roadway was high within seconds. Right now the closest thing is a blood or urine test that takes at least an hour to administer and process. Even when results come back from blood and urine tests they are often thrown out as evidence of driving under the influence because they only reflect use in past days or weeks.
In a similar development, a Lebanese company known as AirGuard is planning to release a specialized smoke detector in the near future with the ability to distinguish between fire, cigarette, and marijuana smoke.
Seemingly the device will work to reduce the amount of false fire drills from people smoking in their room as opposed to have an actual fire. The clear application is for aid in enforcing smoking laws and rules within rented rooms. Knowing this, landlords and hotels will likely be some of the first to join AirGuard’s clientele after the product is released. As of now the product is in beta testing with recent results showing immense accuracy. If the testing continues to go well, the device will be released to the public in Spring 2015.