This state just stopped THC testing for drivers

Through Lydia Karuki

The Michigan State Police/Forensic Science Division (MSP/FSD) recently halted THC toxicology testing for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. This came after a “technical issue” that revealed previous testing methods allowed the conversion of CBD to THC, leading to false positive results.

THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana, is believed to interfere with driving by increasing reaction time. CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating and federally legal.

With the most recent findings from the MSP, it appears that dozens of drivers who may have used CBD have been unfairly penalized for falsely testing positive for THC.

RELATED: What New Federal Investments in THC Breathalyzers Mean for the Future of Testing

The MSP/FSD tests approximately 200,000 samples for alcohol and other drugs each year. An evaluation initiated by the agency on August 19, 2022 found that the current test for THC could result in a positive test even if a sample contains pure CBD. Following this discovery, MSP ordered an immediate halt to THC testing until this issue was resolved.

Photo by JasonDoiy/Getty Images

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Upon further investigation, the MSP believes this error may have been made since March 28, 2019, when CBD became legal in the state. Laboratory data shows that approximately 3,250 samples are affected by this error.

RELATED: State-by-State Guide to Marijuana Related DUI Rules and Regulations

The MSP has escalated the issue to the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), which is the accrediting body. In addition, MSP has stopped disposing of all blood samples to conserve evidence should reanalysis be required in the future.

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