Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plans to legalize marijuana could make for longer lines at the U.S. border. Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman thinks legal pot in Canada — illegal in the U.S. — could mean more searches with dogs trained to detect cannabis in vehicles.
Heyman, an appointee of former president Barack Obama, told CTV News that he was tasked with examining the potential effect of legalized marijuana on border security while he was ambassador from April 2014 until the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January. He specifically noted the role of sniffer dogs in the detection process.
“The dogs are trained to have reactions to certain scents. Some of those scents start with marijuana. Others are something that are significantly more challenging for the border. But the dog doesn’t tell you this is marijuana and this is an explosive,” Heyman said.
“The dog reacts, and these border guards are going to have to appropriately do an investigation. That could slow the border down.”
Heyman noted that once the dogs are trained to detect the presence of marijuana it is a skill that stays with them for life. So new dogs would have to be introduced.
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