Academy Director Claims Legalizing Marijuana Would Kill Police Dogs
The training director of a police K-9 academy in Illinois claims that if the state legalizes recreational marijuana, it will likely have to euthanize “a number” of its pot-sniffing dogs, The Pantagraph reports.
There are approximately 275 trained narcotic K-9s in Illinois, with each costing the department thousands of dollars. Replacing the dogs would cost millions, and Chad Larner, the director of Maron County’s K-9 Training Academy, said “retraining” the dogs would be “extreme abuse.”
“At this point, they’re trained on five different odors,” explained the Normal Police Department’s assistant police chief, Steve Petrilli, a former K-9 handler. “Once they’re programmed with that, you can’t just deprogram them.” The dogs are also trained against being social in order to be effective workers, which led Larner to suggest “a number” of the K-9s would have to be euthanized in the event that marijuana is legalized, The Pantagraph writes.
Decatur Chief of Police James Getz Jr. called Larner’s claim a “bad choice of words,” saying that “there are so many uses for these dogs……we anticipate those dogs are going to work with us for a long, long time.”