Canada grants preliminary approval for police to use a roadside THC test

Canada grants preliminary approval for police to use a roadside THC test

Our friends at Leafly report that a Canadian judge has granted limited approval to use a new roadside test method for THC consumption. Driving while stoned can be a touchy issue — while some research says that legalization doesn’t necessarily increase the rate of driving under the influence, and the research on how much it impairs you is inconclusive at best, the current laws even in legal states require that you not be under the influence while driving. The issue, however, is that while police have reliable breath-based tests for alcohol impairment, they don’t have a reliable and easy way to quickly check your THC levels or cannabis-based impairment while out on the roads.

But they’re trying to find one as quickly as possible. The latest test is called the Abbot SoToxa, and it uses a saliva sample to figure out if there’s drugs in a person’s system in as quickly as five minutes. The machine can also test for drugs like cocaine and meth, but they’re only approved for cannabis so far. And even then, they’re not quite as reliable as the police want — a few cases have seen a false positive test for CBD use (which isn’t technically illegal though we wouldn’t really want to drive on that, either), and at least one person has successfully argued that even if you find cannabis in their system, they’re not impaired enough for it to matter. So while this may be a kind of solution, it’s probably not the end of the issue.

Personally, our suggestion is to just not drive while you’re high. Even if you claim it doesn’t impair you, why even bother with the terrible consequences of making a deadly mistake? Finish your errands, get wherever you need to go, and then light up on whatever you’re smoking that day. In the meantime, even if the SoToxa doesn’t do what the police in Canada want it to just yet, we’re sure there’ll be a working solution sooner or later anyway.

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