Scientists trying to build a Marijuana Breathalyzer

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on December 22, 2015.

In a bid to nab the offenders and prevent the rise in drug-related incidents, the scientists are trying to come up with a Marijuana Breathalyzer, which would help the cops determine whether someone is legally on drug or there is a breach. Currently, such options are available to identify alcohol users, but there is none for marijuana users.

Herb Hill, a Chemistry Professor at Washington State University in Pullman, has revealed that plan to build a Marijuana Breathalyzer, which would help the police officers detect THC in breath. Hill and his colleagues are working on this plan. It would be a hand-held device.

Preliminary field testing was done on 30 human beings. It has established that the device can detect THC in breath. But, further testing is required and it will be developed further based on the reports. Apart from Hill, Research professor Wenjie Liu, graduate student Jennifer Tufariello are also involved in the plan to develop a Marijuana Breathalyzer.

Hill's team has recruited volunteers who buy their own weed, smoke it at their homes and then become a part of the research. According to Hill, they had a tough time to get permission to do research on marijuana because of federal restrictions even though Washington state has already legalized the recreational use of pot.

The new Marijuana Breathalyze device may look like an Alcohol Breathalyzer. But, it would work differently. The team is modifying existing sniffers used at the airports to detect explosives. The technology, known as 'mobility spectrometry'. "It would be used as screening information to help the officer say he should take a blood sample now," said Hill. The cops in Washington are 'super excited' to see get the new technology, which may become a reality soon.

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