A forensic scientist from the University of New Haven is working to set up database of marijuana DNA which will allow the precise tracking of any Connecticut marijuana to its point of origin. In addition to the database, professor Heather Coyle has also invented a new collection method for marijuana “fingerprinting.” While this tool is being developed for use by law enforcement, the technology could easily be adapted my the medical marijuana industry someday to track Connecticut marijuana from seed source to retail and greatly simplify the management of distribution channels.
Funded by federal anti-drug organizations, the new databank will seek to index the unique marijuana DNA profile of plants that Connecticut investigators come across much in the same way as the FBI keeps human DNA data available for comparison with samples found at crime scenes. Authorities expect to be able to use the data to link any marijuana the find to specific national or international criminal organizations.
According to New Haven police chief Frank Limon, a key advantage will be the ability to connect the higher level producers with Connecticut marijuana distributor networks to build more solid cases. “It’s probable, in some cases, that conspirators of the overall operation may escape investigation and prosecution,” say Limon. “The link between production and distribution would aid us in establishing conspiracy cases against the whole operation - not just the dealers and buyers. This would effectively connect the dots to street level narcotics distribution.”
In order to streamline the use of the marijuana DNA database, Coyle developed a marijuana “collection card.” The card is a piece of special treated paper that can capture any plants DNA with just a smear, making identification of Connecticut marijuana a much simpler process since the whole plant doesn’t have top be send to a lab. “One major advantage of using collection cards is that it takes the marijuana sample from a usable drug form to a nonsmoking drug format, making research and storage at universities possible,” says Coyle.
While ordinarily the $100, 000 spent to fund this research would be another example of wasteful spending on our cruel and futile drug war, in this case there is hope for more productive uses of the technology in the future. When marijuana is legalized or at least more sensibly regulated, Connecticut marijuana growers and merchants may be able to quickly determine where their marijuana has been at any given time and customers could conceivably have a completely accurate way to determine the exact strain and batch they have.
By: Marijuana News