Law enforcement in Washington state are working on retraining their drug-sniffing dogs so they won’t alert them when they smell marijuana.
It is part of the state’s law enforcement reforms after they legalized recreational marijuana use in November.
“Moving forward, it makes most sense not to train dogs to alert to marijuana as that would likely lead to unwarranted investigatory detentions of people who are not breaking any law,” Alison Holcomb, a drug policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said.
Most of the state’s police departments are abiding by the change, but the Tacoma Police Department is refusing to comply, saying that the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys lets individual agencies continue to search for substances that are illegal under state law.
In the state, it is legal for adults over 21 to have up to one ounce of marijuana or to give marijuana to other people without payment. Selling the drug, however, is still illegal. The state is still negotiating industrial production and commercial distribution regulations.
Though the state is concerned over federal intervention, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was mainly concerned with how the state plans to keep the drug within its borders.
President Barack Obama also hinted that the war on marijuana may be ending, as he said the government has “bigger fish to fry.”