“If that decision gets made for legalization,” said criminology professor and K9 training expert Charlie Mesloh, “It’s going to be a catastrophic change.” Here Mesloh refers to the specter of national legalization-a not-too-distant likelihood under a future presidential administration-because, with dogs currently in the field mostly trained on marijuana, “For most agencies, it’s going to be easier to pull the dogs off the road, even at the cost of $10,000 per dog.”
The thing about legal pot is that-particularly to a highly trained canine nose-it still smells like a Schedule 1 narcotic. Recreational pot use is legal in Colorado, Washington, Nevada, California and (soon) New Jersey. The movement will continue its steady state-by-state march. Yet to the drug-sniffing dogs staffing those states’ police departments and patrolling our border, the stuff smells same as ever.