Until now, there has been no readily available product that can test on the spot if someone is under the influence of marijuana. The standard urine and blood tests only indicate whether a person has used cannabis within the past month to three months, but do not indicate if someone is actually high. But that could all change soon as ‘The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works’ says they may employ a new quick-result saliva test for weed.
South Africans have been lavishly lighting up without care since The Constitutional Court handed down its judgement on the private use of marijuana in September last year. But while many are taking liberties, the laws are still quite undefined when it comes to sale, growth, possession, and being under the influence – especially when driving and at work.
The new quick-result saliva test will reportedly be able to tell law enforcement if you are under the influence will be used like breathalyser at roadblocks while employers will be able to use the test to tell if you are stoned at work.
While the latter could seem quite invasive – the truth is, you shouldn’t be high at work and the test can actually work to the benefit of stoners in the corporate world. The limitations of urine testing have proven to be a major problem especially in CCMA cases in which many employees are being fired after testing positive for cannabis – even though they may not have been under the influence at work.
Craig Harvey, an attorney who specializes in cannabis cases and who is currently awaiting judgment from the CCMA for a client fighting dismissal following a urine test says the new saliva test could help save many jobs, “in terms of the law, [an adult] is entitled to smoke cannabis at home,” says Harvey. “If you used it yesterday, you come to work, you shouldn’t be under the influence, but you’ll test positive on a urine test. The saliva test shows if you used it in the last three hours and is far more accurate.”
According to reports, there are a few different saliva tests entering the market, a popular one is a test which looks like a lollipop with a sponge head. The sponge absorbs saliva which is then dripped into chemicals which creations a reaction and within a minute or two, the test reveals if you have smoked weed in the past three hours.
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