Police on the west coast may soon be able to test if drivers are under the influence of marijuana behind the wheel.
Vancouver-based company Cannabix Technologies President Kal Malhi says they are close to creating a breathalyzer to detect if a person has been smoking pot.
He says he got the idea from his background in policing, and has already been approached by law enforcement institutions.
“[They’re] asking us how quickly we can have such a device ready and we’re working hard, we’re at the cusp of conducting some scientific trials to prove that it’s an accurate device… ‘Cause there is some frustration in getting convictions for marijuana-impaired drivers, I mean law enforcement is charging drivers, but without a scientific tool to gather evidence of that impairment, the courts are hesitant to convict people just off an officer’s opinion.”
He says once it passes testing, the company will submit it to the Minister of Justice to get certified as a court approved device.
“But we’re hoping that it could be within year, or be concurrent with possible legalization of marijuana that the Liberals might undertake, as they’ve said, by 2019.”
Malhi says for law enforcement agencies, each unit would cost between $800 and $1000, and each test would cost $10 to $15 for the mouth piece.
“I think if society is going to go towards legalizing recreational use of marijuana, then similar to alcohol, we need to enforce safety on the road,” he says.