Weird, unintended consequence of the increasing wave of states legalizing marijuana: drug dogs are becoming legal liabilities. A dog cop can’t tell a human cop if that thing they smell is a bag of weed or a kilo of meth, and so in 420-friendly states like Colorado, drug arrests based on probable cause provided by dogs have suddenly been rendered improper. Last October, in fact, Colorado law enforcement authorities announced they’d instituted different training regimens for drug dogs and had begun prematurely retiring current canine cops who couldn’t get weed off their brains.
So if you’re an out-of-work drug dog who learned to read now that you’ve got a bunch of time on your paws and happen to be reading this, perhaps you should consider going into the antiques business?
Red Arch Research, a nonprofit devoted to the preservation of cultural artifacts, recently announced that they’ve recruited four extremely good dogs from the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center for a program called K-9 Artifact Finders, which hopes to train dogs to sniff out unlawfully excavated artifacts being sold on the black market. This is actually kind of a big deal, as it’s been reported that the sale of treaure looted from historical sites is one of the Islamic State’s crucial sources of funding.
According to a report in Mental Floss, the Four-Legged Indiana Jones Brigade (my personal term for the dogs in the program) is yet to undergo field testing, but the idea that service dogs could one day stop some archvillainous billionaire from buying a sacred vase instead of conducting drug searches makes me want to pat them on the head regardless.