Marijuana legalization across the US is forcing police dogs to retire

Police dogs are being forced to retire following the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

Credits: PetPlace

In the US, 19 states, including Colorado, Washington, California, and more, have legalized the use of marijuana. While many believe this is a step in the right direction, it turns out it has some unexpected consequences.

As Unilad reports, the legalization of marijuana is forcing K9s to retire.

One of the drug-sniffing police dogs affected by this phenomenon is Tucumcari Police Department’s dog, Aries. Last month, in a touching Facebook post, the New Mexico-based department wrote:

“We would like to take a moment to congratulate K9 Aries on his retirement effective today, June 29, 2021. With the legalization of recreational marijuana, K9 Aries is unable to continue his function as a narcotics detection dog.

K9 Aries started his career with the Tucumcari Police Department on February 12, 2015. His drug certifications include the detection of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and MDMA (ecstasy). He also holds certifications in tracking and searching.”

Credits: Tucumcari Police Department

The drug-sniffing dogs are forced to retire as they are unable to recognize the exact type of drug they find. 

This happens to be an issue, as the K9s may lead the police to a home for drugs that might turn out to be recreational marijuana. If this situation occurs, the police would be violating the homeowner’s rights.

As per KOB 4, Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe explained:

“Now marijuana is legal — if the dog alerts on it, and we got a search warrant, we’d be violating somebody’s rights. So that meant the easiest, simplest thing was to just stop using those dogs for that purpose.”

New Mexico State Police has stated that it plans on retiring all nine of its K9s that were trained to find marijuana.

The department announced:

“Once the new canines are trained, the handlers will have the option of retiring their current assigned canine to their home, or we will look at other options to the likes of donating them to other law enforcement entities outside of the state of New Mexico who have yet to legalize marijuana.”

Meanwhile, it has been predicted that the legalization of marijuana will create hundreds of thousands of jobs by 2025.

What is your opinion about the legalization of recreational marijuana? Let us know in the comment section!

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