Washington State University chemistry professor Herbert Hill and one of his doctoral students are working to develop a way to measure THC (the active chemical in marijuana) in someone’s breath that would work like existing alcohol breathalyser tests.
Currently, there isn’t an instantaneous test for drivers who are pulled over because police suspect they are driving under the influence while stoned. Even as recreational pot becomes legal in more states, there’s still quite a bit of debate about what level of THC is safe for driving.
The test that Hill is working on draws on existing technology currently used at airports to detect traces of explosives on people’s hands. We’ll talk with Hill about the THC test and how he envisions it working for law enforcement once the project is complete.