A saliva test for pot use? Michigan lawmakers may enact one

Michigan could become the first state to adopt a roadside saliva test for marijuana impairment if legislators pass a bill introduced in both the state House and Senate.

A bipartisan group of Michigan legislators is pushing saliva testing and Michigan State Police are championing it. But researchers who have studied the test method said results are inconsistent and especially misleading when applied to regular users of cannabis, such as the more than 100,000 Michigan residents who are allowed to use medical marijuana.

“We need to look to the future,” said state Rep. Dan Lauwers, a Republican from Brockway Township near Port Huron, who sponsored the bill.

Los Angeles police are using the saliva tests in field trials, said Don Targowski, a defense attorney in Santa Monica, Calif., who is active in marijuana cases. The Los Angeles police seek to determine “if the evidence from these tests is going to hold up in court.”