PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers are in need of volunteers for a study to develop a breathalyzer that detects marijuana use.
Under Washington law, drivers with five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol, also referred to as THC, in their bloodstream can be prosecuted for driving under the influence. Research Assistant and City Councilor Nathan Weller said the research team felt there was a tremendous need for quick-response detection technology.
“We’re trying to create a roadside tool for law enforcement and businesses to detect if someone is inebriated or under the influence of marijuana… This is cutting edge – there is nothing in the world like this,” explained Weller.
Volunteers must be at 21-years-old to meet the legal age for marijuana use. Participants will begin with preliminary testing which includes a blood test and a mouth swab. Weller said volunteers will then purchase marijuana of their choice from a state-licensed retail store and smoke it privately in their own home.
To avoid anyone driving under the influence, Weller said taxi cabs will pick up the volunteers from their homes and bring them to the hospital for secondary testing. Participants are also highly encouraged to partake in a standard sobriety test conducted by local law enforcement.
If this study is successful, great progress will be made in the marijuana industry according to Weller.
“Law enforcement and businesses are struggling to enforce a no drug policy in legalized states. Often times, they have to wait for test results. This tool helps both government agencies and businesses get fast results to determine who is in fact under the influence,” explained Weller.
Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation legalizing for medical marijuana usage while eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.
“There are so many applications for this type of technology, not just in the States, but across the world,” said Weller.
The study will take place the last two weeks of May and continue through the first two weeks of June. To join the study, contact Nathan Weller at (509)-432-1943 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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