While several states around the country have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, West Virginia has not. However, last year a law was passed that legalized the use of pot for medicinal purposes and starting next summer, people will be able to actively use marijuana under the medicinal pot program. Knowing that this is on the horizon makes it reasonable that residents should understand that the potential for an impaired driving arrest may exist.

NPR recently reported that a company in California has developed a device designed to detect THC in a person’s system. The purpose of this device is to allow officers to be able to test drivers for suspected impaired driving due to marijuana. Despite touting that the goal of the device is objective and accurate information capture, it is important to know that the person leading this effort is an emergency room doctor and member of law enforcement.

Like a traditional breath test device for measuring a person’s blood alcohol level, this unit also requires a breath sample. Unlike the device used in driving under the influence of alcohol arrests, however, this device cannot identify the amount of THC in a person’s system. It can only indicate that a person may have smoked pot in the prior couple of hours. No details were known about the device’s ability to detect THC based upon edible consumption.

People who are facing criminal charges for pot-related offenses might find it helpful to talk with a lawyer to learn how they may best defend themselves.