When New Jersey lawmakers debated earlier this year whether to legalize recreational use of marijuana, the Garden State’s police organizations were adamantly against it.
The cops said that legal weed might lead to an explosion in the numbers of impaired drivers operating under the influence. And the police would be caught flatfooted trying to tell whether drivers they pulled over were high or not.
“With alcohol, if you have over 0.08% in your blood, there’s the presumption that you’re intoxicated,” said Christopher Leusner, head of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
“There hasn’t been a blood test or a breath test that can determine if you’re impaired by marijuana.”
Now there is.
It’s a breathalyzer device developed by Hound Labs in Northern California. It’s portable and can run tests for both alcohol and marijuana. It just may change the minds of many of those reluctant police officers, including in Pennsylvania as lawmakers consider several proposals to legalize recreational marijuana use.
Intrinsic Capital Partners, a Philadelphia growth equity fund, is so convinced of a “potential massive market” for the device that it led a $30 million Series D financing round to bring it to market in 2020.
Mike Lynn, a veteran emergency department physician from Oakland, Calif., developed the Hound in collaboration with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco. [Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer]