Dr. Lynn, who has a background in law enforcement, explains why police need an objective tool to identify recent marijuana use.
“We aren’t measuring impairment, we’re measuring THC in breath where it lasts a very short period of time, providing objective data about THC in breath to law enforcement and employers to use in conjunction with other information they have gathered,” said Hound Labs founder Mike Lynn, an emergency room doctor, reserve deputy sheriff and venture capitalist.”
“Marijuana is legal, as is alcohol,’ said Hound Labs’ Mike Lynn. ‘But we’re not allowed to drink beer and drive, and there’s an absolute reason why people are not allowed to smoke pot and drive.”
“Having a marijuana breathalyzer that — for the first time — can focus on those people who have used pot in the last few hours, it transforms the ability in a fair way to determine who’s potentially impaired and who isn’t.”
“’We don’t want to know what you did a week ago, or two weeks ago, because it doesn’t impact your impairment today,’ said Warren Tolman, director of business development for Hound Labs.”
Cops want to know who’s driving while stoned. Tests are being developed, but level of impairment after smoking weed is still hard to measure.
The difficulty with [blood testing] is police typically need a judge’s approval and then need a trained phlebotomist to draw the blood, a process that can easily take a couple of hours. By then, studies show, most of the THC in blood has already dissipated, even though the person may still be impaired.
“A test like that would frankly make sense,” Armentano [deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws] said. “Just like we wouldn’t allow employees to have a couple drinks and show up to work.”
In addition to identifying impaired drivers, the test could also help suspected impaired drivers who are not guilty, too. With the breathalyzer, an officer will be able to determine if a suspected driver is not under the influence.
“Even though it’s legal, it’s not legal to drive impaired,” [Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael] said. “Allowing the officers on the street to have the right tools to address this is very important.”