Vantage mHealthcare Inc., today announced that its Board of Directors voted to develop a marijuana detection capability for its sensor. The Board determined it would be in the Company’s and shareholders best interest to bring the background and knowledge of our president and board member, Joseph C. Peters whose career includes deep experience with law enforcement and counter drug organizations to this effort.
The Company communicated interest in exploring narcotics detection as previously announced in a press release dated September 24, 2014, when Vantage appointed Joseph C. Peters to its board of directors who brings 25 years of federal, state and local government experience including service under Presidents Clinton and Bush. He was involved with integrating technology into collaborative federal, state and local law enforcement operations, as the White House Drug Policy Office’s Acting Deputy Director for State and Local Affairs. In that capacity, Peters also managed the quarter billion dollar budget of the nation’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. He also served as the White House Drug Czar’s liaison to the White House Office of Homeland Security under former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge.
Vantage mHealthcare Inc., through its majority shareholder Nanobeak, is working with NASA, to develop a mobile app, to be used in connection with its Vantage Sensor that will enable law enforcement to screen for marijuana use and deliver in-the-moment results to the officer’s smartphone, tablet or laptop in the field. The Company will not be distracted from its current efforts and resources in continuing to develop early lung cancer detection and detection for other diseases. The ability to go-to-market will be much faster than the process required for obtaining FDA approval for our lung cancer screening technology because the Marijuana detection sensor for use by law enforcement will be exempt from the FDA approval process. With Peters’ background and relationships, we believe we have an advantage when entering the law enforcement market with this product.
Peters commented, “At a time when we are seeing an increase in state by state legislative approvals for marijuana, it is inevitable that increased marijuana use will also correlate to impaired driving. Law enforcement needs mobile screening to save lives.”
Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2012 for adults 21 years of age or older. In the September 11, 2014 ABC News World News Tonight newscast, Clayton Sandell reported from Denver that, “There is no breathalyzer test and results from drawing blood can take weeks. Plus experts say seasoned users are less impaired with more in their blood and newer users are going to be impaired with less in their blood.”
In 2012, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the psychoactive compound in Marijuana, concentrations averaged close to 15 percent, compared to approximately 4 percent in the 1980s. That potency is more than three times more powerful than it was in the 1980s. For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher concentrations of THC, with a greater chance of an adverse or unpredictable reaction.
CBS News Correspondent Barry Peterson reported on 'CBS This Morning' on March 16, 2014 that “An officer makes a roadside assessment if he suspects marijuana, but unlike alcohol, it can't be detected with a breathalyzer test. Marijuana does however, have a limit - five nanograms of active THC in your blood, but the only way to measure whether someone has reached or passed that limit is in a hospital with a blood test.”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used among persons aged 12 or older.
KIROTV 7 in Seattle Washington did a test of stoned drivers on a special driving course in February 2013 and the Seattle Insider (part of KIROTV) put together some video outtakes of the complete driving test along with the driver’s conclusion of driving under the influence of Marijuana.
Fox Anchors Matt Lorch and Marni Hughes and reporter Adam Mertz reported on KCPQ13 Fox News TV in Seattle Washington on January 12, 2015 that an Olympic High School student was charged with 3 counts of vehicular homicide and prosecutors say he smoked pot before getting behind the wheel.
The Colorado Department of Transportation statistics show that in fatalities involving drugged drivers marijuana was 160% higher in 2011 than in 2006 while fatalities from all drugs were 49% higher.
On March 15, 2015 Fox31 KDVR-TV in Denver in a TV video newscast with anchors Boris Sanchez and Deborah Takahara with reporter Jon Bowman published a news story about a teenage suspect accused of driving stoned charged with vehicular homicide.
“People are now confused with the fact that Marijuana is legal in some states with the fact that they still cannot drive while under the influence. Much of this may come from the fact that they do not correlate marijuana with alcohol. And while clearly different substances both have the ability to impair a driver’s ability behind the wheel. Where the purchase of alcohol is legal it is still illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. Law enforcement will have a new tool to measure marijuana using a single breath when our sensor becomes available” said Peters.
In a February 6, 2015 release by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration of a new study on impaired driving on U.S. roads, the marijuana DUI was 8.4 times higher than DUI from alcohol in 2013 – 2014.
Jeff Michael, NHTSA’s associate administrator for research and program development was quoted as saying “Drivers should never get behind the wheel impaired, and we know that marijuana impairs judgment, reaction times and awareness.”
“Having law enforcement equipped with Vantage’s sensor will increase safety in our communities. Once completed, my long-standing relationships with law enforcement and counter drug organizations will help bring this much needed technology to the forefront,” Peters said in closing.