In lieu of marijuana legalization talks lighting up across the nation, a group has created an app called My Canary to help drivers see if they're too stoned to drive.
In this "digital breathalyzer" of sorts, iPhone users can test their balance, memory, and perception of time to receive a green, yellow, or red light that denotes their ability to drive. The tests include repeating disappearing numbers, standing on one leg, hitting buttons in a "whack-a-mole" game, and then estimating a 20 second time period.
NORML, the team behind My Canary's creation, is also working to legalize marijuana and reform laws surrounding it.
"My Canary is the first app to give consumers the scientific information they need to honestly and accurately evaluate their personal performance — privately, anytime, and anywhere,'" Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of NORML told the Daily Mail.
While classic alcohol breathalyzers can provide clear-cut numbers on their displays, weed presents a challenge when it comes to measuring how much is too much. Basing someone eligibility to drive based on the time they consumed marijuana can be an inaccurate measurement, as the active ingredient, THC, causes effects to settle anywhere from five to 24 hours depending on the specific weed strain and person.
We may start seeing cannabis breathalyzer models being sold to law enforcement soon, but there's difficulties in rolling out this detection method, as THC leaves the blood and body slower than alcohol.
"The identification of THC in blood is poorly associated with users' impairment of performance," said Leonard Frieling, an author on the impact of marijuana on functioning told Daily Mail. "Canary is the first app to use performance science to help marijuana users consume more responsibly."