Reefer Madness Strikes Again
The training director of a police K-9 academy in Macon County, Illinois said in a recent interview that police departments throughout the state may have to euthanize all of their pot-sniffing dogs if marijuana is legalized in their state.
“Because many K-9s are trained not to be social so their work won’t be affected,” said Chad Larner, director of Macon County’s K-9 Training Academy. He added that “retraining” the dogs would be “extreme abuse and therefore a large number of dogs would likely “have to be euthanized.”
There are approximately 275 trained narcotic K-9s in Illinois, with each costing the department thousands of dollars, reported The Pantagraph. Larner says replacing the dogs would cost millions.
Other police in Illinois seemed to have similar feelings.
Assistant Police Chief Steve Petrilli of the Normal Police Department said it would be “impossible” to retrain the dogs.
“At this point, they’re trained on five different odors. Once they’re programmed with that, you can’t just deprogram them. I think the implications of that would be huge,“ said Petrilli, a former K-9 handler.
Several years ago, The Guardian ran a story about how the Washington State police that did just that. The police program successfully retrained their pot-sniffing dogs to ignore pot and focus on hard drugs.
Naturally, marijuana advocates are skeptical about the K-9 Academy’s threat.
“The idea that legalizing for adults to have an ounce on them will equal … all these dogs being euthanized, that seems kind of ridiculous and hyperbolic,” said Dan Linn, executive director of NORML in Illinois.
We believe that there are likely many people out there who would be willing to adopt these dogs and help them become “social” again.