Smell The Joint ‘Bern’ — Bernie Sander’s Home State Of Vermont Stops Training Its Police Dogs For Marijuana Search

The Times Argus reports that the Vermont Police Academy K-9 class has eliminated marijuana testing from their training campaign.

Robert Ryan, the state’s head K-9 training coordinator, says that the proposal was first discussed last year. The Vermont Police Academy is responsible for training all state and local K-9s.

This is the first time Vermont Police Academy K-9 classes have removed marijuana searches from their training. The decision was a warm up for marijuana legalization bill in Vermont which is widely expected to pass in 2016.

Vermont’s proposed legalization bill would allow adults over 21 to possess limited amount of marijuana. The bill also requires the state setting up a regulatory structure for marijuana cultivation, production, testing, sales, and taxation.

Under the action of new laws, the municipalities would retain authority over the decision to prohibit or regulate marijuana establishments. The bad news for marijuana supporters is that weed smoking would still be prohibited across the state.

Smoking cannabis in public and driving in the state of “high” would also remain prohibited.

The bill in Vermont titled “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2015” was initially filed by the democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Back in November, 2015, in an interview with CNN, Sanders explained that the bill was aimed for states to make the decision on marijuana without the federal government getting in the way. It would also aid the drug distributors who are permitted to sell marijuana in their state but would not be allowed to use banks as it would technically violate federal law. The move by the Vermont senator is likely to make him hugely popular among young liberal voters.

The laws regarding marijuana is extremely diverse in America. The states of Colorado, Washington state, Alaska, and Oregon have completely legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for medical and recreational use. Washington, D.C, however has legalized personal use but restricted the sale of drug.

CNBC reports that legalizing marijuana can lead to increased revenue for individuals and state governments. Sales of the drug totaled $700 million in Colorado in the first year after it was legalized and is part of an economic recovery in the state.

An authentic pro-marijuana group, Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, reports that a majority of Vermont residents (56 percent) support legalizing marijuana in the state.

Following the foot trails of Vermont, Conneticut is also inclining towards marijuana legalization. Connecticut Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven) introduced a bill Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in the state.


The bill, if passed, would allow people to consume and carry marijuana with very few restrictions. Marijuana possession was decriminalized in Connecticut in 2011, but the fines and other penalties are still applicable to date for marijuana possession and use in the state. The state completely legalized medical marijuana in 2012.

Robert Ryan, Vermont’s head K-9 training coordinator, says that the police dogs already trained to recognize marijuana would no longer be used for typical drug searches in Vermont but that would not mean the dogs would lose their job entirely.

“The dogs that are already trained to smell marijuana are still going to be used, there will be plenty of uses for those dogs.”

His implications were the dogs could still be used for prison contraband searches, federal police work, and high school searches. According to Ryan, marijuana would still be banned in high schools.

“When the law was passed, we almost immediately transitioned our K-9s out and have now transitioned to K-9s that don’t alert to marijuana, just to all the other drugs that are illegal.”

Now the gratuitous searches are gone, Bernie Sanders is steadily marching forward with his marijuana legalization campaign. This will surely increase fan following of Sanders among the liberal generation of young, wild and free.

[Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images]