Colorado K-9s Being Trained to Ignore Marijuana

The drug smugglers are often scared of the DEA, but what you do not know is they are also afraid of the K-9s. These dogs can sniff out any drug you might be packing. This has got many people who buy medical marijuana in the legalized states worried. If you have some weed on you, expect that the K-9 might single you out for that. Since pot is legal in states such as Colorado, something had to be done about the dogs sniffing marijuana.

The idea of training the K-9s to ignore marijuana has been gaining momentum over the years. California was the first to allow for such special training and now we have Colorado doing the same. In July, a three-judge bench decided that a dog detecting marijuana was no longer a valid reason for conducting a search. This comes years later after a case in Moffat County where a resident was searched when flagged by a K9 only to find it was pot.

Before this news from the judges, probably you were one of those who were scouting the internet for ways to avoid being detected by the K-9 while carrying pot. Yes, it is legal to have it in states such as Colorado, but you do not want an encounter with the K-9. Starting today, you do not have to worry about carrying your pot as the dogs will be trained to ignore it.

Many people will be curious to see how the training will be implemented as we all know the K-9s are highly trained. On the contrary to what people believe, the process is quite simple to make the K-9s ignore pot. You simply have to exclude marijuana from the narcotic training of the dog. The current training includes the detection of pot, but if it is eliminated, then no more worries for pot users.

Well, keep in mind that the training would be effective for the K-9 puppies who are yet to graduate. The real work comes in when training the already K-9 dogs on the force. A chief police officer stated that it can take over 400 hours to train the dogs to hunt drugs. It is going to take a lot more time to deprogram such training from a dog to ignore marijuana. With the ever changing marijuana policy, the police department also has to adapt to such new rules.

Since the ruling of the judges in July, more efforts have gone into training of the dogs to ignore marijuana. The training is now focused more on getting the hard drugs such as ecstasy, meth, and heroin. This is not happening just in Colorado, but rather in more states across the country. Most cannabis users are arguing on the fact that K-9s are not always accurate, training them to ignore marijuana works for them just fine.

The criticism of using drug-sniffing dogs has not started recently. The criticism has come a long way since the start of using dogs for sniffing drugs in the 1960s. Most of the criticism makes sense even to the police. It is the reason the police have to follow certain procedures and policies when it comes to conducting searches. The policies are meant to protect the rights of the people. Well, the same cannot be said for the dogs as they have no idea what the Bill of Rights is all about.

You might have heard of cases where the judges threw them out as the was no enough evidence for conviction. The cases are dismissed mostly because the drug dogs were wrong. Sometimes it could be the residual odors in an area that can trigger such false alerts in the dogs. With no many regulations on mandatory dog training in many states, the drug dogs often make mistakes that can cost the case.

The Colorado judges further ruled that having the search by the K-9s on a person because of weed is an infringement upon a person’s right to privacy. This is because weed is legal, so searching a person who is carrying something legal is simply violating the right to privacy. The judges further explained that the dog sniffing a person with marijuana is already considered as a search. This means that evidence collected because of the sniff of the dog will simply be thrown out of court.

There is no doubt that you would have expected some reactions to such explanations. This meant that any search now by a dog police to detect marijuana would be seen as an illegal search. This is going to make a lot of searches to be illegal even those meant to handle other drugs since it will take time to have all the K-9s ignoring marijuana.

The future with K-9s that ignore marijuana is something most cannabis users can hope for, but for now we have to be patient. Let us see how this plays out in other states that have legalized weed.