Police dogs in Vermont are no longer being trained to detect the smell of cannabis, according to Robert Ryan, the state’s top K9 training coordinator. The change was made in preparation of the state legalizing recreational cannabis in the near future.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee gave approval to a bill that would legalize cannabis for everyone 21 and older, and less than a month after Governor Peter Schumlin announced that his support for legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes.
“The class that is going through right now is not being trained to alert on marijuana odor,” says Ryan. “We started talking about it last year and we made the decision for this class to not do marijuana“.
Ryan notes that if the state doesn’t legalize cannabis in the near future, “it’s an odor that (dogs) can be trained to alert on later.”
The Vermont Police Academy trains all state and local police dogs in Vermont.