Driving under the influence of drugs, particularly cannabis, has become a mayor issue in recent years. In the UK, it is illegal to drive whilst under the influence of drug (click here for guidance). Drivers can face penalties that include:
a minimum 1 year driving ban
an unlimited fine
up to 6 months in prison
a criminal record
In response to this there has been increasing demand to develop a cannabis breathalyzer. This has become a much closer reality. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have taken an important step toward that goal by measuring a fundamental physical property of the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Specifically, they measured the vapor pressure of this compound—a measurement that, due to the compound's chemical structure, is very difficult and has not been accomplished before. This could give rise to road-side testing, in a similar way to alcohol. To read the research, click here.