In a recent interview, the Macon County, Illinois training director of the K-9 Training Academy Chad Larner claimed that throughout the state, police departments may have to kill their own drug detecting dogs if cannabis is legalized. Forget their use for sniffing out bombs or hard drugs… they all have to be euthanized if cannabis is legal in the state that contains cocaine capital Chicago.
Larner argued that it would be “abusive” to try and retrain the dogs and it may even be impossible. I guess he didn’t expect people to doubt his assessment of the situation. He claimed that the job of being a cannabis sniffing dog required that the dogs not be social, which may be true, but it’s insane to think they just have to die because of that.
Somehow all of these cops must have some unspoken agreement to support ending lives, because other Illinois police shared this sentiment. Normal Police Department Assistant Police Chief Steve Pentrilli added that it would be simply “impossible” to retrain the dogs. Why not just let them sniff out all the legal cannabis they want in the hands of new owners who don’t really care if they were trained to do that?
“At this point, they’re trained on five different odors. Once they’re programmed with that, you can’t just deprogram them. I think the implications of that would be huge,“ Petrilli said.
However, it isn’t even difficult to find contrary evidence to this. In Washington State where cannabis has been fully legal for recreational use for a while, they did not just kill all the dogs who were once trained to smell cannabis: they did exactly the opposite of what this guy said and re-trained them.
A NORML activist who thoroughly keeps up to date with this kind of issue gave the opinion that these are just more empty threats to scare the public into supporting a sustained ban on cannabis.
“The idea that legalizing for adults to have an ounce on them will equal … all these dogs being euthanized, that seems kind of ridiculous and hyperbolic,” he said.
The drug warrior mentality had been preserved strong in Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett, as he claimed that legalization would make the dogs “useless” to the department, and be a “victory for drug dealers.” I guess life isn’t worth a damn thing unless it is used to catch criminals.
“The biggest thing for law enforcement is, you’re going to have to replace all of your dogs. So to me, it’s a giant step forward for drug dealers, and it’s a giant step backward for law enforcements and the residents of the community,” the Sheriff said.
Did they forget to question the morality of using canines as tools in the first place to search for plants that the state has deemed illegal? Of course they did, they are cops. Some cops abuse their own animals, it’s actually a really common thing. This week a cop was caught on video abusing his own search dog because the dog failed to find non-existent drugs in a person’s vehicle.
Sometimes police leave their dogs in hot cars resulting in death. It’s just a rule of human nature that power corrupts, and police are a really clear example of this rule at play.