Most people in New Mexico are aware that law enforcement officers routinely use breath test devices to detect alcohol in a driver's system and to measure the amount of alcohol found. This measurement is based on parts per thousand. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is said to be far less concentrated than alcohol making detection by breath extremely difficult if not impossible. One company from California appears to be on a mission to make this possible.
As reported by National Public Radio, a business owned by a deputy reserve sheriff and trauma doctor is said to have developed a device that actually detects THC in a person's system by breath. Instead of waiting multiple days for results, this unit returns data in four minutes. There are important things to know about this unit that may make one skeptical about its effectiveness. For starters, it must be kept at a constant temperature which could pose a problem in the extreme New Mexico heat.
In addition, this device does not tell anyone how much THC is in a person's system, only that THC is present. For people who legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes, this could be an extremely important distinction.
Another point of interest is that when identifying pot in a person's system, the unit simply indicates that they may have smoked marijuana within the prior two hours. It is not known if this device is effective in detecting THC if a person consumed pot in any other form such as an oil or an edible.