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Most sniffer dogs can be trained to pick up the smell of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, opiates, ecstasy and LSD.

A different measure of accuracy? In comments referenced in the 2006 NSW Ombudsman’s report (page 49), NSW Police said they believed drug-detection dogs were accurate 70 per cent of the time.

Why do dogs sniff humans private areas?

“Absolutely yes,” Downing said. She explained that cats and dogs have receptors in their nervous system called cannabinoids receptors that allow them to be effected from marijuana. “They have the lock, if you will, and our job now is to find the key that fits that lock,” Downing said.

The problem is, the dogs are exceptionally sensitive to the scent of drugs, so much so, they are able to pick up minute traces of residual drugs, which could indicate any number of scenarios – perhaps previous use of drugs by a person, or even just that someone has touched drugs, or drug equipment, or a hand of another …

Most sniffer dogs can be trained to pick up the smell of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, opiates, ecstasy and LSD.

Next to pitch in on the subject is Steven Penny, a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Alberta. Here’s what we’re wondering: will a police officer be authorized to search a person based on an indication from a dog trained to detect marijuana? To a dog, the drugs are all the same. But to a police officer, comparing legal marijuana to cocaine unjustifiable. It’s like a cop forcing you to turn your backpack inside out for something as harmless as Advil or birth control pills. People live their privacy too much to do the same for legal marijuana.

Let’s not get carried away here, though. Just because marijuana is legal in Canada and the following US states

Marijuana Laws and Legality Policies

To better understand this potentially messy situation, let’s see what Sgt. Tom Bechthold from the Edmonton Police Canine Department has to say. “To train on something that we knew was just a matter of time before it was legal just doesn’t make any sense to us,” he told The Star, referring to marijuana. Now, he predicts the 14 police dogs on his force will be out of a job. The Edmonton police canine units conduct roughly 40 drug searches each year, but as of 2018 (the year marijuana became legal in Canada), they only conducted 28 searches. Thanks for the info, Tom!

Retraining dogs is a definite possibility, but it can’t happen overnight.“Training by quantity is very difficult because of the fact that there still is an odor,” says Sgt. Grant Hignell from the Alberta Police Dog Training Center. To a dog, a small baggie of marijuana could smell the same as multiple grams.

The list of states that have legalized Is incomplete. We’re up to 11. Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.