Washington State University researchers are offering to pay volunteers willing to help make America's roads safer—and to get really high in the process. As part of a project to develop a more effective breathalyzer test to detect stoned drivers, volunteers (21 and up and residents of Pullman, Washington) will first submit blood, breath, and mouth-swab samples at Pullman Regional Hospital. They'll then be sent to buy marijuana at a state-licensed store and smoke it at home before being taken back to the hospital by taxi for further testing, KIRO 7 reports. In an optional extra step, the volunteers will be asked to meet local law enforcement officers and undergo the standard field sobriety test, reports the Spokesman-Review.
Federal regulations tightly control research involving marijuana, but the Washington researchers stress that they won't have any direct contact with the drug during the study, for which volunteers will be paid $30 for the first hour and $10 for every hour after that. The researchers, whose work is being sponsored by the state Department of Social and Health Services, say they hope to perfect a test for "acute exposure" to the THC in marijuana, which could give police departments around the world a new tool to reduce accident rates. (THC was detected in this Colorado town's water supply.)