On Sept. 8, 2016, researchers at Stanford announced that they have developed a device that they believe can quickly measure marijuana intoxication in drivers.
Although several states have passed laws limiting a driver’s blood THC concentration, issues of accuracy and immediacy have been raised over the traditional testing methods, such as blood and urine tests. A breakthrough in testing technology has the potential to clear up regulatory ambiguities.
Initially developed as a cancer screener, the Stanford device uses magnetic bio-sensors to detect tiny THC molecules in a person’s saliva. With a simple saliva sample, the device can deliver results to a law enforcement officers smartphone or laptop via bluetooth in approximately three minutes.
Aside from detecting THC, the device has also shown the potential to detect a number of other controlled substances, such as morphine; however, students are currently working on a user-friendly version so it will still be some time before regulators or law enforcement can get their hands on the device.