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Will police ever have a way to quickly detect drivers high on MJ?

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by JulianWilliams, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    I think driving while high is a big issue and I'm certain plenty of people have lost their lives or their loved ones due to driving while high or having accidents with drivers using marijuana. Is the police anywhere close to having a good test to detect marijuana use quickly, like they do for alcohol?
  2. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Yes, they already have it here in the UK and have done so for a few years now. They can do a swab test at the roadside which tells them whether drivers are under the influence of marijuana or not. I actually know one person who got arrested for it after having on of the swab tests. They can also test for cocaine at the roadside. Whilst some studies show that marijuana users are usually more careful and cautious when driving and tend to have improved judgement, it's still considered an impairment and is therefore deemed unsafe.
  3. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Community Champion

    ^^^Wow, never heard of that test. I've never heard of it being used in the USA.

    Personally I would NEVER put myself behind the wheel of a car while high, at any rate.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    It can be hard to tell accurately tell how much marijuana someone has consumed because even if they aren't high when they are arrested, marijuana can still be detected in their blood weeks after it was taken. I suppose the best way to find out if someone is high is by using some of those standard physical tests [stand on one leg, etc].

    There's a device I read about though which UK polices officers will be or already are using . . .
    It won't be long before police officers elsewhere in the world start using the devices.
  5. KingEeyore

    KingEeyore Member

    Such a tough thing since it helps so many people. It's just like any other drug. It can be abused. I think there's even an argument to say that *some* people driver better with a the right dosage of their medicine. As tech advances I think we'll be able to determine that dosage. Similar to .08 with alcohol.
  6. Widow

    Widow Member

    I can't seem to find it anywhere online but a few years ago, I heard of a strip that was going to possibly be used. A police officer could rub the strip against your clothing and if it changed colors, you had thc on them. Obviously, something like that would not tell them if you had actually been smoking though. Not to mention, there are those that change their clothes after smoking so nobody can smell it on them.
  7. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I think it will take some time to check who has taken drugs and also how the driver is and also it will be interesting if they have made any progress and think that it will be up to the cops who are meant to try and stop people from being drunk or on drugs, while driving the car on the road which can be dangerous if they don't know what they are doing when driving. It will be interesting to see what the blood test does as it can detect what the person had and also how the person has been acting if they are high which can help cops decide who is high and who is not which is going to take time to adjust to. I reckon that it will take more assistance from the government to enforce laws in place and also think that people need to be aware of what they do and also how they drive in the road which is going to be a good thing for many people.
  8. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I don't see why not. I really hope they do.
    If they can test for booze they should be able to test for anything right?
    I hear the UK is WAY ahead, and that's back up by a few members of our community here.
  9. thash1979

    thash1979 Active Contributor

    I think that I would be more worried about drivers being impaired on alcohol verses marijuana. If they legalize this state wide and federally, why or how would they have the authority to go around and check everyone driving to see if they are high on it? Also, what are they going to do with all the drug dogs that sniff this out?? Face it people, times are changing and this is going to be available in every grocery store in the country before you know it.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    It is my first time to know that this kind of testing is already done in the UK and nice to know about that. It will be really helpful that it is easy to detect since it can save lives. In here, sometimes they do random drug testing to public utility drivers especially in the holiday season.
  11. Andorphin

    Andorphin Member

    Well I live in Spain and just as some other people have pointed out here, there are methods to identify people who smoke marijuana here. The police uses some sort of device called 'Nose Telescope' also knows as 'Olfactometer' to easily detect people high on marijuana or those who use it.
  12. mauricioq

    mauricioq Member

    Wow that's pretty crazy, I didn't know about that. In my opinion, driving after smoking is still dangerous, I mean yeah you know what you're doing but, you're really not sober.
  13. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    on the contrary, driving while high on weed is totally safe and might be even safer than driving sober, speaking from experience.
  14. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    This is pretty much exactly what I was talking about. This article seems to be making out that it's a new thing and it does say it's only just been approved by the Home Office but the police in my area were using it eight years ago and were prosecuting high drivers. It's possible that may have been part of a pilot scheme to test it out.
  15. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I haven't heard of any test in the US they can use to check for marijuana but there may be some. I think being high while driving is a major problem here as well. That is something that I need to do some research on. I would be really curious as to what happens when people are pulled over for pot if they have none in the car. I think they are probably charged for being under the influence.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Came across this story from NPR today. Thought it was appropriate to share it in this thread. Apparently the simple fact that THC is fat soluble is why it's so hard to develop a test to determine just how high someone is. Because THC is fat soluble, it's absorbed in a very different way than alcohol, and that makes it much more difficult to relate behavior to blood levels of THC, or develop a breathalyzer. Check the story out at the link below. It's pretty interesting.

    Why Is It So Hard to Test Whether Drivers Are Stoned?

    kgord likes this.
  17. Nancy D.

    Nancy D. Senior Contributor

    I agree and they should have a way to detect an over use of this drug. Personally I am not sure how driving while using medical marijuana can be regulated...what about Benadryl.....this has the same effect but the warning label says do not drive while taking this medication. This should be true for medical marijuana.
  18. mscooke

    mscooke Member

    In Los Angeles, the increased number of drivers driving while under the influence of drugs, police officers are now testing using drug swabs at DUI checkpoints. The test is roughly eight minutes long and uses a person’s saliva to detect THC, crystal meth, methadone, cocaine, and several other prescription medications.
  19. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    I don't think so. It is legal in some states. Eventually perhaps every state will pass it. It will be like a prescription. I mean are you going to have a test for all the prescription drugs that people drive on? They have those warning labels not to operate machinery on this or that. I guess they could do that. People still do it. A dispensary for marijuana will only tell a person not to drive on a certain blend. There is no regulation or law for this.
    Oh now I see this one above has said in LA checkpoints they check for drugs with a swab. Lol you know what there are hardly any cops in LA. Not compared to other cities and states. I mean the chances of anyone running into that is slim to none and they can refuse. I had not heard of tests like this. But they are coming up with all kinds of things.
    People just need to use common sense and realize taking a chance is not worth it, at all.
  20. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    In the UK, they are immediately arrested, locked up and are not allowed to drive until the police believe they are sober enough to. It's classed as no different to driving under the influence of alcohol which is pretty much a court date and guaranteed prison sentence, in addition to endorsements on your driving license and possibly being banned from driving for a while. If the driver was also in possession at the time of the offense then they would also be prosecuted for possession of a Class B drug.