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US: Police train dogs to ignore cannabis smell

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US police dogs are being trained to ignore the smell of cannabis, following the legalization of the plant in several of the United States of America (USA), announced the website American Herb.

As the US changes its cannabis policy, the use of K-9 units (the abbreviation for police dogs, phonetic transcription of “canine”) to sniff out drugs is getting complicated. Many dogs have been trained to look for narcotics like cocaine and heroin, but also to sniff out soft drugs like cannabis. K-9s, however, have not been trained to distinguish between drugs and are also not able to distinguish between legal and illegal components of cannabis.

Training dogs to ignore cannabis is simple, just exclude it from narcotics training. According to Seattle Police Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb, it is also possible to train police dogs that are already on duty, teaching them to ignore the substance. However, rescheduling training can be a time-consuming and expensive process, as it takes more than 400 hours to train drug-sniffing dogs.

The town of Rifle, Colorado, recently received two new police dogs, Jax and Makai, who were paid for through a fundraiser organized by a 12-year-old when he learned that Tulo, the K9 of the Rifle Police Department was reaching retirement age, 9 years. The new dogs, Jax and Makai, are now being trained to ignore the smell of cannabis, as the plant is legal in Colorado for both medicinal and recreational purposes.

"Dogs that can sniff cannabis have raised doubts in court and could make things more difficult," police officer Garret Duncan told police. Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Despite the discovery of criminal activities with the help of police dogs, some discrepancies have emerged that can be challenged in court. In July of last year, three judges ruled that a dog that detects cannabis is not enough to warrant a search.
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Featured Image: Benzinga

 

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