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Oklahoma Could be First State to Implement Cannabis Breathalyzers

Cannabis breathalyzers have been discussed for years. Could Oklahoma be the first state to use them?

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Cannabis breathalyzers have been discussed for years. Could Oklahoma be the first state to use them?

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Do Medical Marijuana Edibles Show Up On Breathalyzers?

As more people turn to medical marijuana edibles to help alleviate symptoms from their physical and/or emotional illnesses, the law enforcement community is working on figuring out a way to check if someone is impaired while driving. When someone has been consuming alcohol, police can easily use breathalyzers to check their blood alcohol level and […]

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As more people turn to medical marijuana edibles to help alleviate symptoms from their physical and/or emotional illnesses, the law enforcement community is working on figuring out a way to check if someone is impaired while driving.

When someone has been consuming alcohol, police can easily use breathalyzers to check their blood alcohol level and determine if they’re unsafe to be on the road. But do medical marijuana edibles show up on breathalyzers? The answer to that is a little complicated, so keep reading for more information!

Can a breathalyzer test detect that you’ve eaten marijuana edibles?

At this time, there is no commonly used breathalyzer test that can detect if you’ve consumed marijuana in any form. Blood alcohol levels can be determined through breathing into a breathalyzer machine, but testing for marijuana (whether ingested by smoking or by eating) can only be measured by blood, urine, or hair samples. These tests also only indicate whether someone has THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) in their system, not whether they’re actually impaired or unable to operate a vehicle safely.

Because law enforcement would like a way to figure out in the field whether someone is intoxicated from marijuana, several different entities have been developing and testing new products that would work on this issue. A startup in California and a Canadian firm have both been working on developing a product that could test for cannabis using a breathalyzer-type product.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have also begun studies with a device that shows results on a digital display after the person blows into it. The breath sends the air over carbon nanotubes that help identify THC molecules. However, the device is still being tested and hasn’t been used in a widespread manner yet. Scientists are also considering testing roadside saliva tests for THC, but currently there isn’t anything ready for law enforcement to use.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ edibles

Image by Margo Amala on Unsplash: At this time, medical marijuana edibles do not show up on traditional Breathalyzers.

What are the loopholes of testing with breathalyzer-type devices?

Let’s say that one of these products is developed effectively and can be implemented by law enforcement. They might be able to test for marijuana usage with a device that’s similar to the breathalyzer. But then there’s the question: do THC breathalyzers work for edibles?

Right now, the devices being tested are only able to show whether a person has smoked marijuana. Edibles wouldn’t even show up, and would likely allow a person to pass a roadside test. Additionally, individuals who have been pulled over by law enforcement and asked to perform a field sobriety test are often able to easily pass even if they’ve consumed marijuana. This indicates that these tests as they stand aren’t enough to measure whether someone is actually impaired or not.

Lawmakers are still trying to determine the best way to prosecute someone who has caused an accident or injury because of being impaired by marijuana usage. Many cases don’t go forward or lose in court because it’s so difficult to prove with THC levels whether someone was unable to drive safely. It seems like everyone from law enforcement to prosecutors will have to figure out a different way of testing for THC than they do for alcohol intoxication; the two can’t even really be compared in this way.

Should you be driving after consuming edibles?

Even if you’re using your MMJ edibles because they were prescribed by a doctor, you still could be affected by the THC and lose some of your concentration or have slower reflexes. Because of this, it’s recommended that you don’t consume edibles and immediately get behind the wheel of a car. However, it is tricky to determine when you’d be safe to drive again, because how long an edible stays in your system can vary greatly depending on the dose and type of edible and your body’s own chemistry and metabolism.

There hasn’t been a lot of research around this topic; some say that an edible can stay in your system (meaning you can feel its effects) anywhere from two hours to 24 hours. It’s important to note that the THC from a cannabis edible can actually stay in your blood, urine, or saliva between 24 hours and three months! So, when it comes to marijuana edibles and driving safety, you really have to be the judge of whether you’re safe to drive or not.

 

Image by iMattSmart on UnsplashTry to avoid getting behind the wheel if you’re just eaten some MMJ edibles.

How can you be a safe driver when using MMJ edibles?

The first thing you can do is experiment with the doses and types of edibles you’re using to see when you stop feeling the effects of them. Trying out different varieties can allow you to determine which product still gives you relief from your symptoms but also doesn’t stay too long in your system.

You should wait to consume your MMJ edibles if you know you’ll be needing to get behind the wheel fairly soon. Always avoid driving if you feel impaired in any way. If you can’t wait to use your edibles, try out some alternative forms of transportation, such as getting a ride from a friend or family member or calling an Uber or Lyft.

The most important thing to remember is that your usage of edibles (even if it’s for medical purposes) can always be used against you if you’re pulled over for a ticket or if you cause an accident. You don’t want to break the law or cause harm to property or people, because if they decide to test your blood, urine, or saliva at the police station, you could have THC in your system and law enforcement can use this to try to show you were impaired.

Bottom line: there’s no roadside breathalyzer at this point in time that can easily show that you’ve used marijuana edibles. But you’ll still want to make sure you’re being as cautious as possible anytime you use MMJ products and then get behind the wheel. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Featured image by Utility_Inc on Pixabay

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Can A Breathalyzer Detect Medical Marijuana?

The breathalyzer test was invented back in 1958 so that law enforcement officers could immediately tell if someone had abused alcohol before they got behind the wheel of a car. A set blood alcohol limit was established so that everyone would be held to the same standards of how much alcohol is too much. The […]

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The breathalyzer test was invented back in 1958 so that law enforcement officers could immediately tell if someone had abused alcohol before they got behind the wheel of a car. A set blood alcohol limit was established so that everyone would be held to the same standards of how much alcohol is too much. The breathalyzer is still used by law enforcement to instantly tell whether someone has broken the law by driving while impaired.

Because the usage of marijuana has only recently become legal (and still only on a state level), there aren’t a lot of legal regulations in place to monitor its usage in the same ways that alcohol usage is enforced. So, can a breathalyzer detect medical marijuana (MMJ)? Keep reading for the answer to this question.

Can breathalyzers detect MMJ?

This question is actually a little complicated to answer, because the science and technology behind it is changing quite rapidly. At this time, there is no widely used breathalyzer that can test for marijuana usage. The only foolproof way to test for marijuana usage (either from edibles or from smoking cannabis) is through a blood, urine, or hair sample test. Currently, these tests cannot be completed in the field and have to be done at a police station.

Because there isn’t a way for law enforcement to test THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) in the field, it’s not always easy for them to determine and/or prove that someone is impaired and unable to drive a car safely. Therefore, it can be hard for prosecutors to win DUI cases for marijuana usage because it’s difficult to actually show whether someone was too impaired to drive, especially because everyone’s tolerance for cannabis is different due to a variety of factors.

 

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Image by Mykenzie Johnson on Unsplash: At this time, marijuana usage cannot be tested with the same tools used for determining alcohol use.

Are there MMJ breathalyzers being developed?

Although there’s no current standardization of testing for any type of marijuana (medical or otherwise), several agencies are working on developing one. These firms are trying to invent weed breathalyzer tests that would work similarly to traditional breathalyzers. The person would blow into the device, and their breath would be sent over carbon nanotubes that can identify THC molecules; a digital display would instantly show the results.

Some scientists have suggested that roadside saliva tests for THC might also be useful, but these haven’t been tested widely yet. It’s also important to note that these tests would likely only be useful to test people who have recently smoked marijuana – ingesting it other ways (like eating edibles) probably wouldn’t even register on a breathalyzer-type device.

Is it a good idea to drive after using MMJ products?

If you’ve been wondering, “Do THC breathalyzers work?” the answer is that they could in the future. Even if you can’t technically fail a breathalyzer at this point in time because of marijuana usage, it’s probably not a good idea to operate a vehicle after you’ve used your MMJ products.

If you get pulled over by law enforcement or are involved in an accident, they can still try to do a field sobriety test to determine if you’re under the influence of a controlled substance. Even if you’re using MMJ products that have been prescribed by a doctor, you could still be ticketed, fined, or charged with a crime if you’ve been deemed a danger to others on the road.

How can you use your MMJ products responsibly?

In order to make sure you’re always being 100% safe when you get behind the wheel of a car, avoid using your MMJ products beforehand. Before you drive, you’ll need to determine whether you’re feeling any effects of the MMJ at that time. This can be different for each person because of your body’s individual chemistry and metabolism. The intensity and duration of the effects also varies depending on the dose and strain of MMJ products you’re using. It’s possible to feel the effects for up to 24 hours after you’ve dosed.

Additionally, these products can actually linger in your system (whether you’re still feeling the effects or not) for anywhere from a few hours in a blood or saliva sample, to 13–90 days in urine and hair samples. The best thing you can do is to experiment with different types and strains of products to find what works best for you and your needs. Then try to avoid driving if you’re still feeling the effects of your MMJ products.

 

MMJRecs - MMJ smoking

Image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash: Make sure you only use your MMJ products when you don’t have to drive soon after.

 

If you want to play it safe, don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve imbibed MMJ products recently. Ask a friend or family member for a ride, or call an Uber or Lyft to help you get where you need to go. Although there isn’t currently a breathalyzer test on the market that can determine your cannabis usage, you are still responsible for your safety and the safety of others on the road if you drive while under the influence.

Featured image by Serjan Midili on Unsplash

The post Can A Breathalyzer Detect Medical Marijuana? appeared first on MMJ Recs.

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Friday, September 27, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines Friday, September 27, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther // Gov. Baker explains vape ban: ‘Doing nothing was not a viable option’ (WCVB 5 ABC) // Vermont considering banning sale of vaping products (Boston Globe (AP)) // How Doctors Diagnose and Treat Vape Pen Lung Disease (Leafly) These headlines are […]

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A black and white shot shows three vape pens sitting on a wooden table.

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, September 27, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Gov. Baker explains vape ban: ‘Doing nothing was not a viable option’ (WCVB 5 ABC)

// Vermont considering banning sale of vaping products (Boston Globe (AP))

// How Doctors Diagnose and Treat Vape Pen Lung Disease (Leafly)


These headlines are brought to you by Curaleaf, one of the leading vertically-integrated cannabis operators in the U.S. With legal medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, and processing facilities all over the United States, Curaleaf has served more than 100,000 medical cannabis patients and looks forward to helping many more long into the future. Swing over to Curaleaf.com to learn more about this very cool company!


// The Green Party’s Cannabis Platform Makes Zero Sense (Leafly)

// Mitch McConnell Directs DEA To Figure Out How To Distinguish Hemp From Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

// South Park Slams MedMen In Episode About Banning Marijuana Home Cultivation (Marijuana Moment)

// State’s new cannabis czar faces a challenging to-do list (Crain’s Chicago Business)

// People in D.C.’s Increasingly Dangerous Marijuana Gray Market Want Change (Washington City Paper)

// Senate Committee Declines To Expand State Marijuana Protections In Spending Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Use of New Cannabis Breathalyzer Could Break Labour Laws (Leafly)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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