Thursday May 10, 2018
Legalizing marijuana in Illinois would likely cause some drug-sniffing dogs in the state to be killed. That is the claim asserted by Chad Larner, the training director of the K-9 Training Academy in Macon County, Illinois in an in-depth Pantagraph article this week by Ryan Voyles. In Voyles’ article, counterarguments are presented that there will be alternatives to euthanizing such dogs, including involving the dogs continuing to live with their handlers or going through new training. But, assuming such options do not work out for some of the dogs, here is another option that is much better than keeping marijuana legal so some dogs can be saved — send the drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community for dogs.
Sending drug-sniffing dogs to a retirement community will carry expenses. But, so does the war on marijuana. War on marijuana expenses include the costs of paying police and using police resources — including drug-sniffing dogs — to track down and arrest people for alleged marijuana law violations. Once individuals are arrested, the costs continue to mount with jailing and prosecution expenses. When arrested individuals are found guilty, the costs continue for incarceration or alternative punishments imposed.
The costs are not just on the government’s side. Arrested individuals rack up costs including payments to lawyers, missed work, and even loss of their jobs and homes in the process of asserting their innocence or trying to work out a plea deal. They also suffer with the psychological and physical hardships that come along with being arrested and detained, as well as having the threat of future punishment hanging over them, or the actuality of imposed punishment. Their friends and families tend to suffer as well.