Weed-Sniffing Dogs No Longer Allowed Without Probable Cause
The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that police require probable cause before introducing dogs trained to detect marijuana.
In a 4-3 vote the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that under the state constitution, a dog trained to detect marijuana cannot be used unless the offices obtain evidence that a crime has been committed. In the past, officers only had to suspect a crime had been committed to call in the K-9. It's basically the same standards used for other property searches. You can read the ruling for yourself by clicking HERE.
The court's decision follows Colorado's 2012 vote to legalize possession of small amounts of weed for recreational use. There lies the issue because K-9s can alert officers to the smaller, legal amounts, of the drug. The court's ruling is just another example of the rift created between state and federal marijuana laws. Colorado Chief Justice Nathan Coats penned in his dissent of the ruling calling the majority’s opinion “deeply flawed.”
Colorado law enforcement has seen this day coming and have already begun to phase out marijuana-trained dogs in favor of animals that can detect other illegal drugs.