One of the most important questions that should be answered by every country with legalized cannabis is how the police will check whether an individual is too impaired to drive. Police from Vancouver has recently unveiled a new device that will test for impairment from cannabis, opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
The new devices were presented as part of the nationwide project aimed to catch impaired drivers and decrease the number of collisions. Although the testing machines are likely to be effective in detecting harsh drugs, there are some serious issues regarding cannabis. The Drug Read device will help catch people with high levels of serious drugs in their systems. However, testing machines are very sensitive to THC, a major psychoactive cannabis compound.
There would not be any issues if the machines read out what levels of cannabis are considered excessive. Unfortunately, it just detects traces of THC, showing a positive or negative result.
This may definitely cause problems for those who use weed regularly. In case you usually smoke a joint before going to bed, you may test positive for drugs the next day. As THC can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, hundreds of people could be wrongfully charged with impaired driving.
Canadian authorities are now trying to determine what level of THC in the body is low enough for safe driving. The question is quite difficult because THC affects everyone a little bit differently. A mild high for an experienced weed enthusiast may become a knock-out punch for a beginner smoker.
So once the authorities determine a reasonable level of THC in the body, a roadside testing machine that can detect exact impairment levels will need to be implemented.