Can a breath test smoke out stoned drivers?

As more US states legalise marijuana use, the race is on to find a drug version of the roadside breathalyser

In a sparely furnished, exceptionally clutter-free office in Oakland, California, Mike Lynn is blowing into a black plastic box the size of a rat trap. It is making a loud, steady beep. An electronic blue bar on the side progresses. “It takes a certain amount of breath,” he says after around eight seconds, when the bar has advanced to about a quarter. “I can do it in one breath, some people take two.”

Lynn, whose career has taken him from emergency medicine doctor to venture capitalist, is now the co-founder and CEO of Hound Labs. The startup began in 2014 and has received $14m in funding to date including $8.1m from Benchmark Capital which also provided early stage funding for Uber, Twitter and eBay. Hound Labs aims to do what no one has yet done: produce a pot breathalyser for use at the roadside. While alcohol breathalysers are standard, so far there is no such equivalent for marijuana. And that’s because it is a tough problem: unlike alcohol, breath levels of THC – the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that makes people high – are much lower. Up until now it has taken large, costly instruments to detect. “The analogy is taking 20 Olympic swimming pools and finding one drop of water,” says Lynn. “But that is what we are so excited about – because we figured it out.”

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Source: theguardian
Can a breath test smoke out stoned drivers?