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Some Drug Dogs Are Losing Their Jobs As Marijuana Becomes Legal

The dogs can create more problems than they solve.




Drug-sniffing dogs with a nose for marijuana are falling out of favor as more cities and states legalize the substance, The New York Times reports.

Canines trained to detect marijuana can be a problem for police departments.

Tommy Klein, police chief of Riley, CO, explained why his department retired Tulo, a highly skilled dog trained to sniff out marijuana and other narcotics. Marijuana is legal in Colorado.

Such dogs “have the same behavior for any drug that they’ve been trained on,” he said. And many are trained to detect a wide variety of drugs.

“If Tulo were to alert on a car, we no longer have probable cause for a search based on his alert alone,” Klein said.

Marijuana-trained dogs “are being eased out of the labor force” across the country, according to the Times. When they need new recruits, many departments are now looking for dogs that have not been trained on marijuana.


What happens to retired drug dogs? The Times reports that they usually go home to live with their handlers — as pets.

Read more at The New York Times

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