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can dogs smell cannabis seeds

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Next to pitch in on the subject is Steven Penny, a professor in the faculty of law at the University of Alberta. Here’s what we’re wondering: will a police officer be authorized to search a person based on an indication from a dog trained to detect marijuana? To a dog, the drugs are all the same. But to a police officer, comparing legal marijuana to cocaine unjustifiable. It’s like a cop forcing you to turn your backpack inside out for something as harmless as Advil or birth control pills. People live their privacy too much to do the same for legal marijuana.

“I think it really is going to be difficult for police to convince courts on the basis of a positive indication that they are then entitled to conduct a search when it is entirely possible and perhaps even probable that what the dog is indicating is the possession of a lawful substance.” Yeah, no kidding!

Marijuana Laws and Legality Policies

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any rules, restrictions, or guidelines about traveling with it inside an airport. According to Hignell, “not all marijuana will be legal” in Canada. He predicts there will still be cases where drug-sniffing dogs will need to be part of a search warrant related to other issues, possibly if a second drug (an illegal one) is in possession. The trick is finding a happy medium that keeps travelers safe. As I said, airports can be stressful. We don’t need to add extra searches to the mix.

Here’s what professor Penny has to say. “If what [the dogs] are smelling is a product that people are legally entitled to possess, then that raises the question of whether the police would then have grounds to obtain a warrant to open the container or conduct a search of the location.” In his eyes, the next step is taking this dilemma to court.

Retraining dogs is a definite possibility, but it can’t happen overnight.“Training by quantity is very difficult because of the fact that there still is an odor,” says Sgt. Grant Hignell from the Alberta Police Dog Training Center. To a dog, a small baggie of marijuana could smell the same as multiple grams.

Researchers in Vienna believe dogs are able to detect human emotions just by looking at pictures of faces. They recognised facial cues to determine if a person is happy or angry. It is thought to be the first evidence of an animal able to discriminate emotional expressions in another species.

Can drug dogs tell if your high? The problem is, the dogs are exceptionally sensitive to the scent of drugs, so much so, they are able to pick up minute traces of residual drugs, which could indicate any number of scenarios – perhaps previous use of drugs by a person, or even just that someone has touched drugs, or drug equipment, or a hand of another …

Sniffer dogs have totally no interest in the drugs themselves. What they’re actually searching for is their favourite toy. Their training programme has led them to associate that toy with the smell of drugs.

What can police dogs detect?

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A different measure of accuracy? In comments referenced in the 2006 NSW Ombudsman’s report (page 49), NSW Police said they believed drug-detection dogs were accurate 70 per cent of the time.

A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

“Absolutely yes,” Downing said. She explained that cats and dogs have receptors in their nervous system called cannabinoids receptors that allow them to be effected from marijuana. “They have the lock, if you will, and our job now is to find the key that fits that lock,” Downing said.