In push for pot legalization, some fear K9 drug dogs could be eu - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

In push for pot legalization, some fear K9 drug dogs could be euthanized

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (WKOW) -- The move to legalize marijuana in Illinois could have one major unintended consequence -- what happens to the police K-9s whose job it is to sniff it out?

If pot use becomes legal, the police K-9s would likely either have to be retrained — which some handlers say is impossible or impractical — or retired, according to The Pantagraph.

Because many K-9s are trained not to be social so their work won’t be affected, Chad Larner, training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County, Illinois, said a number of dogs would likely have to be euthanized.

“The biggest thing for law enforcement is, you're going to have to replace all of your dogs,” Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett, whose private foundation paid $2.2 million in 2016 to support K-9 units in 33 counties across Illinois, told The Pantagraph. “So to me, it’s a giant step forward for drug dealers, and it’s a giant step backwards for law enforcement and the residents of the community."

Lawmakers are considering making Illinois the 10th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The state decriminalized possession of a small amount in 2016: having up to 10 grams of marijuana is a civil offense punishable by a fine between $100 and $200. In 2015, Illinois implemented a medical marijuana pilot program, with a limited list of qualifying conditions, that is set to expire in 2020.

Read the full story HERE.

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