Robin Lefferts December 14th, 2018 Exclusive, Top Story As cannabis legalization spreads across North America, there is a growing realization of the public... Cannabis Users Drive High, and Crashes Are on the Rise

Robin Lefferts

December 14th, 2018

Exclusive, Top Story


As cannabis legalization spreads across North America, there is a growing realization of the public safety issues surrounding widespread use of the legalized drug. Even cannabis consumers admit that driving under the influence of marijuana can be dangerous, but in general they do it anyway. Public health officials have launched educational campaigns, but the entrenched idea among cannabis users that the drug is not as dangerous as alcohol is hard to overcome. Add to that the technical difficulties surrounding the testing of THC levels and impairment, and it is easy to see why public health officials see a safety crisis that only promises to grow before practical solutions can be found.

Cannabix Technologies, Inc. (CSE: BLO) (OTC: BLOZF) (8CT: FRA) is advancing a marijuana breathalyzer the company hopes will solve a major part of the current cannabis safety issue. By providing a reliable and convenient roadside testing solution, Cannabix hopes to give law enforcement and employers the tools they currently lack to accurately determine recent marijuana use at the point of care. Combined with continued public education, such a tool could clear up a lot of the grey areas currently surrounding the issue of driving under the influence of legal cannabis and help keep our roads safer.

The Statistics

A study by the Colorado Department of Transportation, released earlier in 2018, found that 69% of marijuana users had driven under the influence in the year prior, with 27% indicating they drove under the influence almost daily. North of the border, the findings are significant as well. Health Canada’s annual Canadian Cannabis Survey found that 39% of marijuana users reported having driven within 2 hours of using the drug, with 43% of those people having driven under the influence in the last 30 days. Clearly, the public safety message is not getting through to a preponderance of cannabis users.

Meanwhile, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute recently released two studies showing that vehicle crashes rose between 5% and 6% in states that legalized cannabis use, compared to neighboring states that did not legalize. In the linked article, the IIHS notes that “Marijuana’s role in crashes isn’t as clear as the link between alcohol and crashes. Many states don’t include consistent information on driver drug use in crash reports, and policies and procedures for drug testing are inconsistent. More drivers in crashes are tested for alcohol than for drugs.”

In a Las Vegas-area report on the issue, retired Las Vegas lieutenant Randy Sutton lamented the lack of tools to accurately measure marijuana impairment. “Marijuana is a different story,” said Sutton. “Tests to determine someone’s impairment are more guesswork than they are science.” At the same time, Sutton noted the increase of impaired drivers on the road resulting from cannabis legalization.

Tools Needed to Combat the Dangers

Along with a robust educational campaign to change public perceptions and behaviors regarding cannabis use and driving, proper tools are needed to accurately and conveniently identify THC levels in potentially impaired drivers. Mr. Sutton’s lament is a common refrain for law enforcement and public health officials. With invasive, inconsistent, and slow saliva tests being tested, there is a distinct need for the cannabis equivalent of the alcohol breathalyzer.

All of these issues could be alleviated with the introduction of a portable Cannabix Marijuana Breathalyzer. Cannabix is using mass spectrometry (MS) related technology known as field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) to ensure accuracy of THC detection from human breath. Cannabix is a well-funded company that has been steadily developing its prototype breathalyzer, advancing its technology to bring the device to market as soon as possible, with research and pilot testing and other milestones ahead.

Cannabis legalization is on the rise and cannabis impaired driving showsno signs of letting up. With current technologies lacking, the introduction of a cannabis breathalyzer could be a game-changer. Stay tuned for further developments.

Disclaimer

The above article is sponsored content. Emerging Growth LLC, which owns CannabisFN.com and CFN Media, has been hired to create awareness. Please follow the link below to view our full disclosure outlining our compensation: http://www.cannabisfn.com/legal-disclaimer

About Robin Lefferts


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