There’s a Breathalyzer For THC Like We Aren’t Amid an Opioid “Crisis”

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“Instead of the war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me.”

Encountering an officer on the road can be an anxiety-inducing experience if you’re driving under the influence of blackness. Traffic stops can be shrugged off as a routine occurrence for others, but for POC, it’s potentially the precursor to doomsday.

Driving While Black is terrifying when there are members of the police force operating like the officer in this video.

Now that weed is recreationally legal in ten states and the District of Columbia, Hound Labs Inc. in California found it necessary to create a breathalyzer to “help ensure safety on our roads and in the workplace while also promoting fairness to people who use marijuana legally and responsibly.”

According to them, THC — the compound in marijuana that gets you high,— only stays on your breath for about one to two hours after consuming. It then drops to zero after three. You are considered impaired if any amount is detected while you’re behind the wheel; the perfect moment to call on Jesus to take it for you. Most drug tests available takes days to produce results, but the Hound Breathalyzer claims to be able to determine whether there is alcohol, THC, or both in your system in just four minutes.

It’s universally understood that no one should operat a vehicle under the influence of anything that impairs judgment, I don’t understand why this is a priority. This country is bleeding with problems that can use solutions.

There is still debate about what amount of THC on the breath, in blood, or in saliva that constitutes impairment. Law enforcement will have a hard time enforcing a half-baked law. The legal parameters need to be crystal clear if the most common interaction between the police and the public are traffic stops. And black drivers are 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, twice as likely than white drivers to be searched by police, and nearly twice as likely to be given no reason at all for the traffic stop.

Tech companies looking for a payday haven’t considered these facts, SO WE HAVE TO. THC Breathalyzer can be a helpful tool in some cases, but I’m wary of this in the hands of bitch-ass, trigger-happy cops. The criminal justice system is energized by minorities like we’re battery packs. Law enforcement come automatically equipped with discrimination against black and brown communities. Shit be default (subconscious or otherwise). 

Don’t drive under the influence of anything. POC are already viewed as sheets of paper attached to target control systems. In this political climate, a DUI inspection can either end with you in one piece or with your family financing trips to commissary or making funeral arrangements.

I’m not saying we don’t need THC breathalyzers. This quick test could easily be a savior for someone who smoked a day ago vs someone who consumed marijuana 30 minutes before reporting to work at a construction site. I’m saying, there is no shortage in epidemics that we, as a nation, can focus our energy on.

So since we’re concerned about the safety of our roads, here’s a small list of other threats to look out for while in traffic or anywhere else. Maybe this will inspire someone to build a product that detects this shit before we ever have to engage.

  1. Bitch-ass, trigger-happy cops. The ones with the predisposition to catch-a-nigger-kill-a-nigger. Police officers too often see black people as criminals even when in accordance with the law. No one wants to die at the hands of a community servant. Actually, no one wants to die at the hands of a community servant while doing normal-people shit, like walking.
  2. Well-meaning white women. The ones who whip the shit, then ugly-cry once the smell becomes unbearable to them. Which is usually immediate. The white women who’ll fight for equality as long as it doesn’t threaten their own privilege. On the outside looking in, they mean well and they probably believe it with every little bit of consciousness they have. But most of the time, it’s at the detriment of someone else’s livelihood or normalcy. Most of the time, it’s a symptom of gentrification and they’re pawns pushing an agenda they aren’t aware they’re party to. They mean so well that they become vigilantes of whiteness. They know you need a permit to sell water and they know the parameters of where the use of charcoal is permitted for the sake of “community health,” but will draw a blank when you ask them if they know the black/brown neighbors they’re displacing. We see you and we need to avoid ya’ll at all costs.
  3. Codeine, Morphine, Heroine, Vicodin. Why won’t the tools of the capitalist bourgeois create something to detect these? Opioid abuse could benefit from the same police energy since it deserves immediate government intervention and widespread pandemonium. There are no large, randomized studies directly examining the risks of driving while on opioids. So how many people are driving under the influence?
  4. Fuckboys. I can just see God now — sitting in her lounger chair, melanin glowing radiantly, hair styled in a bomb-ass two-strand twist out, eating grapes of the universe, while sipping on a chilled glass of White Tears and thinking, “Let’s go ahead and deliver the world from fuckboys” (those affected by them too; pick me’s). She seems to be running on CPT.
  5. Anti-weed folks. I get it. It took decades of anti-weed propaganda to criminalize a completely harmless and useful plant, so it’ll take years to undo. But cannabis deserves better. There’s a wealth of knowledge that counters every argument against legalization for both medicinal and recreational use. Either people are willfully ignorant and loud or have an ulterior agenda.

And of course, the list goes on. However, America should find a way to address its history of using the police as a tool to reinforce systems of racial inequity.

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