By Steve Elliott
The Bremerton Police Department, along with many other law enforcement agencies around Washington State, is not training its new police dog how to sniff out marijuana. After voters legalized marijuana last November, Dusty is the first drug detection dog in Kitsap County who won't be looking for pot.
But in the unlikely event that cannabis once again becomes illegal in Washington, it would be easy to train 18-month-old Dusty accordingly, said Bremerton Police Officer Dahle "Duke" Roessel. "We can train them on marijuana in a weekend," Roessel said, reports Josh Farley at the Kitsap Sun.
The Washington State Patrol won't be training future drug detection dogs to find marijuana, either, according to spokesman Bob Calkins.
"It's problematic because the dogs could alert on a legal amount of marijuana," Calkins explained. "And then we're violating someone's privacy."
There's a concern that if a dog were to find a valuable piece of evidence because he had alerted on a legal amount of marijuana, all the evidence might be thrown out in court, according to Calkins.
For example, if a dog sniffs out a legal amount of marijuana and then a gun used in a murder is found along with it, a judge could rule the gun isn't admissible in court.