As Oregon prepares for the advent of legal marijuana beginning July 1, there are already some clear losers. Among them are the state’s drug sniffing dogs, for whom the pink slips are in the mail.
Like technicians in a horsewhip factory in the days of yore, Oregon’s drug dogs are workers with a skill set made obsolete by changing times. The dogs are trained to detect any number of illegal substances, including marijuana, but now that weed is about to become legal in Oregon, that pot-sniffing skill becomes not an asset, but a liability.
The reason, police said, is that drug-sniffing dogs are often used to alert authorities about the presence of drugs, providing them with the probable cause necessary to initiate a search. If, as the Seattle Times explains, a drug dog alert on an illegal substance provides police with probable cause to search and arrest someone. If the dog sniffs someone who is carrying both heroin and pot and alerts on a substance that is now legal—like marijuana—that could legally invalidate the search and its fruits. So the drug dogs will have to go.
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.