The number of states that are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana is continuously rising. Along with it are some added laws to ensure that consumption is controlled and public safety is assured. Smoking the Mary Jane is supposed to be used in private, and just like drunk driving, being stoned behind the wheel is a crime. Making sure that your judgment isn't impaired while driving is where it gets a bit tricky, how can they know if you're too high to drive?
The ‘amount of cannabis’ one consumes is not basis on how high a person is. The concentration of THC and many other compounds in one strain and how each reacts to one another is a factor. The same thing with the method used to smoke the funny lettuce, may it be through a joint, a bong or a vaporizer. And for those who can relate, surely you’ll agree, how much food you ate can also affect your high. Cannabis is a complex substance that has unpredictable effects on people. Some have a natural tolerance to it because of their genetic traits; others built their tolerance through constant usage, just like to those who are taking it daily to suppress their medical condition. As stated by Mike Martis, California Highway Patrol spokesperson in an email to WIRED. "How a drug affects someone might depend on the person, how they used the drug, the type of drug (e.g., for cannabis, you can have varying levels of THC between different products), and how often they use the drug.”
Currently, how drunk you are can easily be measured with your Alcohol Blood Content (BAC). But this can't be applied to marijuana. In the first 30 minutes after consumption, your cannabis compound level is already 74% diluted in your blood and already 90% gone in your blood system in more than an hour. So if you get pulled over for driving stoned (with the average time of 1.4 to 4 hours to get your blood tested) then most likely they won't be getting much to support an allegation. THC is fat loving and stays in your tissue even when the high ends and even longer than reflected results in blood samples or detectable breathalyzers. Yes, you heard that right, THC breathalyzers. But since it's gone in our breath in two to three hours, it will no longer pick up prior intakes, again, this fat-loving compound lingers in our tissues. CEO of Hound Labs, Mike Lynn said, “We are not measuring impairment, and I want to be really clear about that,” He added, “our breathalyzer is going to provide objective data that potentially confirms what the officer already thinks.” Therefore this tool will only confirm that the driving behavior is aligned with the driving of someone under the influence of THC and that will conclude an intoxicated driver. But a counter-argument to this stands to the fact that the presence of such compound is not basis enough for one to be “stoned”. Kevin McKernan, the chief scientific officer of Medicinal Genomics, said, "If you want to gauge intoxication, pull the driver out and have him drive a simulator on an iPad." It is not measuring the amount of cannabis one took, but how all these compounds react to each and everyone. "That'll tell ya. The chemistry is too fraught with problems regarding people's genetics and their tolerance levels.” All these facts make it hard to measure marijuana impairment that even the field sobriety tests like Horizontal Gaze, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand is not 100% reliable.
As more and more scientist take an interest with cannabis' miraculous works, especially in the medical field, there is no standard measure for your high nor a definite means of measuring it, well, as of the moment. Jeff Raber, CEO of a cannabis lab Werc Shop said, "I really think we're probably going to see automated cars before we're going to see this problem solved in a scientific sense." Now, that sounds interesting! If that will come to reality, perhaps we won't need this law on marijuana consumption while driving anymore. Let's see then which happens first! Automated cars sound more promising than a marijuana breathalyzer.