Rumor: New Breathalyzer-type device can detect marijuana

New Swedish-designed device can detect 12 different controlled substances.

TRUE

Study says new Swedish device detects 87 percent of cases

As The Atlantic reports, we may soon live in a world where marijuana and a host of other drugs could be detected with a simple breath test.

Police have always had a number of ways to tell if someone is driving drunk. But detecting other substances has always been harder. In order to see if someone is too high to drive, whether because of marijuana or another drug, police currently have to get a blood or urine sample. A new study out of Sweden, however, may make future tests far easier.

As U.S. News also reports, a recent study published in the Journal of Breath Research has proven that a new device correctly detects drug use in 87 percent of cases. The device can detect for up to 12 controlled substances, including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and a number of prescription drugs.

The new technology may make detection easier. But it isn't likely to clear up the legal headaches that surround the driving-while-on-drugs issue. As more states legalize marijuana, more have had to make the critical judgment of what constitutes a legal limit. And as The Atlantic points out, the new detection devices "could be a pain in the butt and justified grounds for a lawsuit for somebody who smoked a joint or took a pill a day ago and is fine to drive."

 

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