The marijuana breathalyser | “The Science Show”

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Professor Neil Garg discusses teaching and chemical “gadgets” to help solve societal problems with science journalist Robyn Williams on “The Science Show”.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp’s award winning “The Science Show” is considered by many to be the world’s best science broadcast program. The 8-minute interview took place in Garg’s Chair’s office on campus in February, 2020.  Williams begins the show by playing a song written by Garg’s students and he comments on the informality of the coffee and chocolates that Garg offers visitors to his office. They then discuss The Organic Coloring Book Garg and his daughters created, his secret to being an effective teacher and his group’s recent research led by former postdoc Dr. Evan Darzi developing fundamental technology to create a marijuana breathalyzer.

Professor Neil Garg is the Chair of the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry & Biochemistry. He is known for his innovative teaching techniques, transformative chemical educational initiatives, and his cutting-edge research program.

Summary from “The Science Show” website:

Science Show Garg

The marijuana breathalyser

Neil Garg is interested in developing chemical gadgets to help solve problems in society. In California, marijuana is now legal. But like alcohol, its use can impair driving. Neil Garg is developing a THC breathalyser. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. His device would use electricity and an oxidation reaction. The device would be used by roadside police and hopefully would be cheap enough so people could have one available at home.


Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,