If a police officer smells “suspected burning marijuana,” this is still probable cause for a search, because “it is exceedingly unlikely anyone is smoking hemp,” the memo said. But “if the person claims they are smoking hemp,” the officer should assess the totality of the circumstances.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? And is it worth it to try?
“From a practical standpoint, (marijuana) is the vast majority of hits,” Sabol said. “That’s the most commonly used drug of abuse — or maybe not of ‘abuse,’ depending on the circumstances now.”
Police dogs are going to be detecting these legal products because if a dog can pick out 2 grams of marijuana in a car, “imagine 45 bales of (hemp) in an 18-wheeler,” Gilbert said.
Those are questions police departments across the state will be forced to ask themselves, now that Ohio’s new hemp-legalization law has cast a cloud over drug-sniffing dogs’ ability to provide “probable cause” to conduct drug searches.
Sabol compared the situation to a dog trained to detect both illegal drugs and fast food, with police using any dog hits on either as the probable cause to search someone on suspicion of illegal drugs.
Quinlan’s memo went into other problems with Ohio’s hemp law in addition to the dog-training issue.
The world we live in today is extremely confusing when it comes to cannabis and its derivatives, like CBD. Each state has different laws and regulations, and many still use drug dogs to detect weed. So what happens if you are carrying CBD oil on you? Are drug dogs able to smell CBD?
Drug dogs are not always as accurate as you might think. One study reports this by testing various dog breeds against illegal substances with their handlers to determine how quickly (if at all) they can detect the substances.
How Are Drug Dogs Trained?
Drug dogs are able to smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans. This means they can pretty much smell anything given the proper training. However, recent reports suggest that drug dogs these days are typically trained to primarily detect hard drugs or dangerous bombs, and not necessarily marijuana.
Similar to people, drug dogs have a job that requires consistent work. Once enrolled, they are constantly training with their human partners. The path to reaching the top level can be a very long one. Drug-sniffing dog breeders can begin training and testing puppies as young as six weeks old.
After selection, the puppy will spend the next few months going through daily training routines with officers until it’s ready for service in the field. The service life of dogs in this line of work is typically eight or nine years.
Some people also believe that if they can smell marijuana in edibles, surely dogs can as well. Although this is a very simple way of looking at a rather complicated subject, there could indeed, be some truth to it.
According to leading scientists, dogs are about 10,000 to 100,000 times more effective at picking up scents than humans. The reason for this is due to dogs having an astonishing 300 million olfactory receptors inside their noses, with humans in comparison only having around a measly 6 million.
Interestingly, dogs also possess a sensory organ named the Jacobson’s organ that allows them to pick up moisture-born particles in the air. Serving as a secondary olfactory system, the Jacobson’s organ essentially allows dogs to detect “undetectable scents”.
After some time, the dogs will also be taught to recognize a host of different drugs and will become highly adept at sniffing out a variety of illegal substances and other items.
Can dogs smell edibles? It’s probable that drug dogs can smell edible marijuana products if they have been trained to detect it. However, some experts believe when cooked, the chemical composition that dogs have been trained to smell for, could change.
At the early stages of training, dogs will receive a reward as soon as they react to the scent they are searching for. However, later on in the program, they will only be rewarded after responding to the correct command from their trainer; such as down, stay, or bark.
When made at home, marijuana edible products could likely end up being different from edibles bought online or in stores, increasing the likelihood of them being easier to detect for our canine friends.