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Former Canada Cop Claims He Invented A Marijuana Breathalyzer

marijuana breathalyzer

(via ctv news)

A former cop from British Columbia, Canada claims he has co-invented a breathalyzer that can detect if marijuana was used in the last two hours. Kal Malhi worked for law enforcement in British Columbia for ten years, four of which were spent in the drug enforcement division. Mr. Malhi is hopeful that the breathalyzer will be used by law enforcement to catch impaired drivers, and eventually also be used in the workplace to detect marijuana use. Per CTV News:

Dubbed the Cannabix Breathalyzer, Malhi’s device works in a similar way to a traditional breath analyzer police officers use to test drivers suspected of operating a vehicle while inebriated. The device, which is pending a patent and still has to undergo further field testing, could potentially detect if cannabis was use within the previous two hours.

Whether or not Mr. Malhi’s invention actually detects marijuana use via someone’s breath will be determined by the patent process and by whether or not law enforcement decides to use it. However, even if his invention proves to work for detecting marijuana use via someone’s breath, it still wont measure impairment. Just because I used marijuana two hours ago doesn’t mean that I used enough to be impaired. And even if I consumed enough to be impaired two hours ago, doesn’t mean I’m still impaired two hours later.

While Kal Malhi’s invention is generating a buzz in the media, it’s based on junk science, and is doomed to fail. The only way to determine if someone is impaired from marijuana is to do a series of field sobriety tests, and even those are not always accurate. Mr. Malhi’s marijuana breathalyzer is no more helpful than a urine test, which indicates that marijuana is in someone’s system, but does not automatically mean that the person was impaired at the time they were pulled over.


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Johnny Green


  1. Doc Deadhead on

    From what I understand(and please correct me if I am wrong) the human brain has cannabiniod receptors that regulate the flow of cannabidiol through the brain.

    There are GABAA receptors for alcohol and G protein-coupled receptors for opiates but they are transmitted through the dopamine pathways and therefore the brain can be flooded by these and death can occur.

    This is why cannabis CAN NOT kill anyone…..ever.

    Knowing this, there can never be a ‘machine’ to measure the correct amount of cannabidiol in the system, BECAUSE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE. A machine can only measure the stuff that is NOT supposed to be there.

    We know technology is advancing quickly but by the time they have a portable machine that measures cannabniods on the breath they will also have a pill that cures cancer!

  2. Blair Anderson on

    Beware the silent policeman, guilt by machine…. the presence [or not] of cannabis (ie: zero tolerance) differentiates the policy response we give to alcohol where some is Ok despite its known and publicly accepted near linear harm profile. Cannabis is a special case, not for any particular reason related to dose response/set and setting, rather that it displaces the relative harms of alcohol impairment and thus contributes to harm reduction and risk taking. Further, Cannabis use does not impair (to anywhere near the same or comparable) high level executive decision making “to drive, or not to drive” whereas alcohol does. Cannabis is neither aggressogenic nor is it criminogenic, the same cannot be said of alcohol. Possession of either has no bearing on impairment. Possession of cannabis is prosecuted as an ‘intent to use’ – thus a thought crime.

  3. True, how high can you get from a quarter hit of brick weed? It is kind of silly when you think about it.

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