Marijuana breathalyzer test threatens to drag on high times

If Hollywood ever springs for a remake of "The Pineapple Express," the stoner at the heart of the film's plot may have more to worry about than the drug lord pursuing him.

The technology is (almost) here for a roadside breathalyzer test to check whether drivers are high on the drug, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. It would be a revolutionary advance for law enforcement, since officers currently lack any reliable scientific method for doing so.

One of the companies pushing the technology forward is Hound Labs in Oakland, California. Research distributed via the Hound Foundation, created by company CEO Mike Lynn to promote awareness of marijuana-impaired driving, indicates the drug is five times more potent now than 50 years ago, and the odds of an auto accident triple after a driver smokes it.

With 15 million Americans annually getting “behind the wheel of a car within an hour after using marijuana,” the accident risk is a pressing public safety concern.

Hound Labs is developing a dual breathalyzer that can handle both alcohol testing and marijuana. In late August, it announced that $30 million of fundraising had been completed “to accelerate manufacturing and commercial availability.”