Legal marijuana is in the air across California, but local and state law enforcement agencies say they won’t retire their pot-sniffing narcotics dogs anytime soon, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

At first, it might seem like California’s legalization of recreational pot would render canine units’ weed-sensitive noses obsolete. Indeed, some dogs are being pulled from routine patrols, and new ones are sometimes not trained on pot. But police agencies say their drug-trained dogs still have plenty of value, especially when it comes to taking down large-scale drug operations.

“While laws regarding marijuana have changed, certain activities are still considered crimes,” said Giselle Talkoff, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department. “Laws and regulations still govern sales, possession and transport, (and) there are times when the illegal possession of marijuana can coincide with other crimes.”

Most of California’s drug-trained police dogs go through an intensive training program where they learn to bark or sit when they smell heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or marijuana. The California Highway Patrol, which employs 42 drug-sniffing dogs, trains them for 440 hours before they go out into the field, according to CHP spokesman Mike Martis Jr.

Some worry a dog that alerts on marijuana could taint an otherwise lawful search that turns up illegal guns or other contraband. Local and state police agencies say they’ll work around the legal issues by leaving behind narcotics dogs when out on patrol. Instead, they’ll be brought out once a large-scale grow or trafficking operation is suspected.

 

Like this story? Want to know why tens of thousands of law enforcement people receive stories like this in their email twice a week?

Subscribe to award winning OnTarget newsletter!

Your Account

Create or login to your account to enjoy discounts and rewards.

Wishlist
0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon
      Available Coupons
      admin20 Get $20.00 off $20 off your cart total.
      adminpromo Get 100% off Free item offered by the administrator
      Unavailable Coupons
      adminsubscriptionretiredfirstpayment Get $120.00 off First payment of retired subscription when paid and added manually.
      cabinfreeweek Get $315.00 off A free week (7 days) at the associated cabin in one contiguous stay at the time of your choice.
      freebassentry Get 100% off
      golfsponsor Get 100% off Free admission to the tournament with a golf sponsorship.
      jh$25 Get $25.00 off Jonathon Hall reimbursement for shirt he purchased that was too small.
      ldf1month Get $13.00 off Prorate an LDF membership for 1 month discount
      ntcvendorcomp Get 100% off This coupon entitles the user to a free vendor table at the NTC conference.
      retired10 Get $10.00 off
      retired60 Get $60.00 off This discounts your current year renewal $60 since you already pre-paid $60 towards your renewal for this year.
      spmtc Get 20% off Special 20% Off all Motor T's for a limited time!