Why Is Testing Drivers For Cannabis So Difficult?
Cannabis can be present in someone’s system without causing impairment to their driving, as it remains in the body long after the high has worn off. With the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in the United States expanding rapidly, marijuana use continues to increase, making marijuana impairment tests even more crucial to prevent accidents and promote safe driving. While the breathalyzer to test for alcohol in the system has existed for almost 70 years, very few reliable solutions exist for measuring impairment caused by marijuana. Additionally, even the alcohol breathalyzer has its problems, such as cost to maintain, reliability, and more.
What are the solutions?
There are a few solutions that have been released recently, like a breathalyzer that detects marijuana. However, many people argue that a breathalyzer for cannabis is not a reliable option, as marijuana and alcohol are very different substances with different side effects; they should not be measured in the same way or treated as the same drug. The new THC breathalyzer requires around 2 minutes of blowing in order to determine if THC is present in the breath, meaning consumed recently. However, marijuana has complicated effects that vary from person to person based on amount consumed, potency, form of consumption, tolerance, and more. With this breathalyzer, a person who has taken a small dose, for medical reasons for instance, would have THC detected in their breath, even though they are not impaired.
So, what should be done?
There is certainly a need for a way to test for impairment caused by marijuana, with an increasing number of states legalizing the drug and impaired driving becoming a higher concern. However, there are problems with many proposed solutions, which are not only invasive and require time, but could also lead to unequal discrimination against certain communities for possession of nonviolent drugs, no matter the amount consumed. For example, a milligram of marijuana consumed might be counted equally as 100 milligrams, regardless of drastically different effects.
Otorize proposes an entirely different approach, which tests for impairment of any kind, rather than the presence of alcohol, THC, or other drugs specifically. This umbrella approach promotes safe driving regardless of what was consumed. By testing for impairment rather than marijuana in the breath, the test focuses on safety as the number one priority. Otorize is an app within which users take a 5 second cognitive assessment and are determined to be impaired or not based on their responses. The test is non-invasive, quick, accurate, and affordable. There is no need to replace or maintain the app, as is required from breathalyzers, or even require breath or saliva from users. The impairment test is always on hand, as it is accessible on each user’s smartphone, allowing people to be prepared for any situation. Otorize’s approach promotes safe driving for everyone, everywhere.