One way to tell if someone is driving under the influence of marijuana? Pick the car going 20 MPH under the speed limit.
Should that not do the trick, this speedy weed spit test will.
The new technology, developed by Shan Xiang Wang of Stanford University, can pick up THC (weed’s “active ingredient”) via a simple mouth swab test. The test sensor is portable and the results are delivered within three minutes via Bluetooth to the officer.
"Detection of marijuana from blood or urine in a reference lab is not difficult, but it is difficult or impractical at the roadside,” Professor Wang said in an interview with Digital Trends. “Most law enforcement officers are not authorized to take blood samples, while taking a urine sample on spot is extremely inconvenient. Detection of marijuana from saliva would bypass the trappings with either blood or urine samples."
It should be noted that as lawmakers catch up to the broadening legalities of marijuana possession and usage, it’s still difficult to determine what is "too high" to drive.
One recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety stated that THC levels may not be a proper indicator of intoxication. And an expert from NHTSA in a statement to New Scientist said that more tests will be needed to determine what level of THC leads to impaired driving ability.
The weed spit test works by measuring the nanoparticles that align to THC. Ultimately, the amount of nanograms of THC there are for every milliliter of saliva determines how baked the cake is behind the wheel.
The test is currently only in concept phase, though there are plans to advance production creating handheld devices for law enforcement officers.
In the meantime, be safe, be smart and avoid being this guy.