New Jersey

New Jersey Has Stopped Training Police Dogs to Sniff for Pot

A vote to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state was called off after Democratic leaders in the state Senate came up short of the 21 votes they wanted before sending the bill to the General Assembly.

New Jersey has halted training state police dogs to sniff out pot.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told lawmakers Wednesday that a pending proposal to legalize recreational marijuana led police to stop training them to detect the odor of burnt cannabis.

He says dogs already trained to detect the scent could be used in other settings where marijuana would be prohibited such as jails and schools. He added that it's possible to train the dogs to detect marijuana in the future if needed, but it's impossible to "un-train'' dogs who already recognize the odor.

Grewal spoke at an Assembly budget hearing after a lawmaker asked how police dogs would be affected if recreational weed becomes legal.

New Jersey would be the 11th state with recreational weed if a proposal goes forward.

Correction (April 4, 2019, 7:03 a.m.): This story has been corrected to say that the Assembly hearing was on Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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