Lifeloc Moves To Develop Roadside Marijuana Test
March 15, 2021
Now they want to start making devices that check for marijuana impairment. Their current alcohol-related devices are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and are used in labs and by police departments worldwide.
“Our goal has always been to remain innovative in the marketplace as opposed to providing just ‘me, too’ products,” says Executive Vice President “Ravi” G. Ravishankar. Lifeloc has thousands of clients in 50 countries. They not only help law enforcement protect communities against drunk drivers, but they also help shipping companies remain compliant with Department of Transportation standards. Ravi says, “We also sell educational products for schools that can help illustrate to students the hazards of drunk driving.” He adds, “Those include alcohol and drug impairment goggles that simulate first-hand what it feels like to be ‘under the influence.’”
Now Lifeloc is seeing tremendous opportunity in the green wave overtaking the country. Ravi says, “In the last few years we have been taking a long, hard look at what’s happening in the drug-detection space, particularly with the legalization of marijuana.” With 23 states currently allowing individuals to buy weed online as medical marijuana, and four states and Washington D.C. passing recreational laws this last election cycle, Lifeloc sees a growth sector it is well-positioned to take advantage of. Unfortunately, the technology isn’t there quite yet.
Though alcohol can be tested quickly roadside, the current tests using a blood or urine sample need to be sent to a lab. It can take several weeks before the results come back. Another problem, THC—the active ingredient, remains in the body long after its psychoactive effects have worn off. That means you can have a high level of THC in the body without it actually affecting your mind. Another stumbling block, there is no legal basis for what constitutes impairment. That’s something for legislators to work out.