The police department in Ottawa, Canada, has rejected the roadside test kits which the federal government approved for catching drivers who are impaired by the consumption of marijuana.
DrugTest 5000, already in use in several states across the U.S., was introduced in Canada ahead of the October 17 date when recreational cannabis will be available across the country. The Ottawa P.D. cites a number of reasons for its stance.
First, the police say that the DrugTest 5000 kits are very expensive. Each unit reportedly costs $6,000. The regulations in place require the police to conduct a cannabis test as soon as a driver is suspected of being impaired. This means that every police patrol vehicle would have to be equipped with the test kit, an undertaking that would take a lot of money.
Secondly, the sample of saliva taken must be kept at a certain temperature in order to give reliable results once tested for THC. This is too much of a hassle for the police department to deal with on a daily basis.
More opposition to the test kits is resulting from the information filtering in from across the border in the U.S. Apparently, the devices have been successfully challenged in the courts of law for being unreliable, since so much is left to the subjective assessment of the officer selecting drivers to screen.
Some people have even said the cannabis test process is as effective as “tossing a coin” to determine whether someone was impaired due to the presence of marijuana in their blood.
Another fundamental question that needs to be answered is how much THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid) is sufficient to cause impairment. Experts seem to agree that it isn’t as clear cut as is the case with the blood alcohol level detected during a Breathalyzer test.
In light of the above, it seems that the Ottawa Police Department is onto something by rejecting these roadside test kits, which currently appear to be expensive gadgets whose results may not stand up to legal scrutiny.
The decision to train more drug recognition experts may be a smarter move by the Ottawa Police Department, since it provides a better way to identify and possibly prosecute those who will drive under the influence of marijuana. One is left wondering what the thoughts of companies like Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTC: CHOOF) and Hiku Brands Co. Ltd (CSE: HIKU) (OTC: DJACF) may be on this matter.
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