Legal Pot Changes The Work Of Some Drug Detection Dogs

The new legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it’s also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers – drug detection dogs.

Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 Detective Widget, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, has helped make millions of dollars in drug busts during her four years on the force, but now she has a new partner, Sage a two-year-old golden lab.

The two dogs’ human handler Detective Vince Petkosek said, like Widget, Sage is trained to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms. Unlike Widget, she is not trained on marijuana.

That’s important because dogs like Widget react the same way whether they ferret out legal marijuana or an illegal drug like meth. Petkosek said that means Widget’s searches could be questioned.

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