CA Police Test First Marijuana Breathalyzer

CA Police Go to the Dogs with Hound Labs

According to a press release from a company called Hound Labs, police in California have field tested the very first breathalyzer designed to detect THC from both smoked marijuana, and so-called "edibles" - candy, cakes, etc containing THC. The company is claiming that unlike urine, hair and certain blood tests -- which can read as positive even if the person has not smoked marijuana for days or weeks -- THC is only present in the breath for a few hours so the machines detect the presence of recently-smoked marijuana.

Time to Amp Up the War on Marijuana Users

About half of all States have enacted medical marijuana laws, and a handful of States now legalize recreational use of marijuana. In the next several years and beyond, we can expect to see a myriad of new technologies aggressively peddled to law enforcement to try to go after marijuana-using drivers. So, even as the nationwide trend in the prosecution of drug cases is to refocus towards treatment rather than incarceration, the aggressive deployment of law enforcement resources and new technologies against "stoned driving" will probably skyrocket.

No Marijuana Breath Tests in NH -- Yet.

For now, however, portable breathalyzers used by New Hampshire police officers, and the Intoxilyzer 5000EN used in NH police departments and police barracks, test only for alcohol. Police officers who suspect that the driver has used marijuana or other drugs generally request a blood test rather than a breath test.