New Jersey’s K-9 units will cease training police dogs to detect the scent of weed.
On Wednesday, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that the state’s local police forces won’t train their pooches to sniff out cannabis since the legislature may soon legalize the plant’s use, possession, cultivation, and sales.
Dogs that have already been trained to smell weed will stay put, said Gurbir. New Jersey’s police can still rely on previously-trained dogs to find cannabis at illicit grows and other places where marijuana is banned, like prisons and schools.
Other weed-legal states, such as Colorado, recently retired all police dogs trained to track down herb. The move came after a court ruling determined that dogs smelling legal weed conflicted with law enforcement’s process for searches under probable cause. Once dogs have been trained to smell any drug, they cannot unlearn the training.
And contrary to fake news reports from one Illinois police chief last year, retired police dogs won’t be euthanized. Instead, departments place the dogs up for adoption. The chief later retracted his claim.
Last week, New Jersey’s lawmakers killed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis for all adults 21 and over, but the state’s governor and Democrats have vowed to keep pushing for reform. If successful, the Garden State will become the eleventh state to give the greenlight to regulated pot.
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