If the people of Illinois vote to legalize pot, “police may have to ‘put down’ many of the 275 K-9 dogs trained to recognize narcotic substances across the state,” they claim. The plan is to simply execute them. Needless to say, “marijuana advocates have condemned them for dangling canine death as a political tool.”
It costs thousands of dollars to train dogs for police duty. The K-9 Units can sniff out “marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs.” These dogs work like people and do not deserve to be exterminated just because a law changes.
The officers said that it would be “cruel” to retrain them, so rather than simply allowing them to live out their lives, the best idea they have is to kill them?
If pot is made legal, “the biggest thing for law enforcement is, you’re going to have to replace all of your dogs,” noted Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett as he spoke to the Pantagraph. His “private foundation paid $2.2 million in 2016 to support K-9 units in 33 Illinois counties.” With many other pressing matters arising in communities, perhaps the depth of this whole endeavor needs to be called into question.
“So to me, it’s a giant step forward for drug dealers, and it’s a giant step backwards for law enforcements and the residents of the community,” the lawman also added.
However, Washington state has retrained their dogs, but have not been accused of being “cruel” for doing so. They just now ignore marijuana, while the new dogs are trained never to mind it at all.
Also, K-9’s will still be needed in other states. Theft and other criminal activity is not defined by possession. TV’s are legal yet they get stolen and sold. Drug dispensaries will be robbed just as any other business is, too. That is why some “agencies have kept pot-sniffing dogs and continued to search for large amounts of the drug not allowed under the law.”
None of that information seems to have arrived on the desk of Chad Larner, “training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County.” He calls retraining “extreme abuse.”
It is true that some of the dogs are not taught to be overly friendly, yet at the same time, they live with children often in the loving homes of officers. Bloomington Police Public Affairs Officer Elias Mendiola and Normal Assistant Police Chief Petrilli said that retired dogs often live out their lives with their owners. Killing them, or even contemplating it, is an act of such barbarism that is frightful to hear it debated.
It cannot be imagined that many of the officers who have owned these dogs would take very kindly the idea of putting them to death due to no longer serving, either.
“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,” said Dan Linn, the executive director of the pro-pot group Illinois NORML. He called the notion a “red herring.”
Law enforcement, in this case, is attempting to hold the lives of dogs hostage in order to keep marijuana illegal.