Canadian police have just begun using the new roadside saliva test for marijuana across the country. To conduct a test, a person's mouth is swabbed for a few minutes to collect a good sample of saliva. The sample is then put into an analyzing device that sends results to a mobile printer.
The units aren't cheap either. Each one costs $6,000. So you'd assume the device would be built to withstand any conditions, right? Well, it looks like there's already some major issues with the test as two lawyers based in Vancouver are already preparing to file a lawsuit.
The main problem is that the device becomes ineffective as soon as it hits winter. The test is made to operate in warmer temperatures, from four to 40 degrees celsius. As soon as the temperatures drops lower than that, you'll begin to recieve false readings.
This is extremely problematic going both ways. An unsuspecting grandmother, for example, could be pulled over for a routine saliva test right before Christmas only to test positive for marijuana consumption?! The same would go for someone driving under the influence but reading as negative for using the drug.
With Canada's history of having Ice Age-like winters, we can assume it will be no different this year. The devices will either have to be reprogrammed to eliminate the error or be taken off the roads completely, otherwise we're in some serious trouble.
The Vancouver-based lawyers have vowed to file a lawsuit as soon as all the devices hit the road within the next few weeks, as the ineffectiveness of the product can seriously harm the lives of many people across the country. Hopefully the issue is solved before that, but it's truly uncertain what the future is for the drug test.
Let's just pray for a mild winter this year so that none of us are wrongly accused of driving under the influence of marijuana.