Director: Legalizing cannabis in Illinois to require euthanizing police dogs

A training director said legalizing marijuana in Illinois will require a police academy to euthanize about 275 dogs, who are trained to sniff drugs including pot.

Chad Larner, the director of Maron County’s K-9 Training Academy, said “retraining” the dogs would be “extreme abuse,” The Pantagraph reports.

Replacing the dogs would cost millions, Larner added.

“At this point, they’re trained on five different odors,” explained the Normal Police Department’s assistant police chief, Steve Petrilli, a former K-9 handler.

“Once they’re programmed with that, you can’t just deprogram them.”

While some of the dogs are more versatile, however, they are mostly trained against being social.

Police officers spend approximately 16 hours a month teaching the animals how to sniff narcotics and alert officers if they found them.