OSHP no longer training police K-9's to detect marijuana after change in Ohio laws


K-9's use their nose to track down illegal and dangerous substances for their human partners. As laws change, so does the training for these special officers.

“We're always monitoring the changing landscape. That includes legislation across Ohio and the nation,” said Lieutenant Rob Sellers of Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol trains K-9's for departments across the state. With laws changing across the country, OSHP decided they will no longer imprint or certify K-9's to detect or hit on marijuana.

“In part it's because of that changing landscape. Now we have hemp, now we have medical marijuana as well. As things change, we have to adapt so we can best serve the people,” Sellers said.

This won't impact dogs that are already certified to sniff out marijuana, but future K-9 classes won't be trained on the drug.

“These dogs are still effective on all the other drugs. This does not render them ineffective in any way. Does it create a couple of hurdles on the prosecution of marijuana? Yes it does,” Lt. Sellers said.

Lt. Sellers says that doesn't mean his department, or other law enforcement agencies will stop arresting people for illegally having marijuana.

“It is still prohibited here in Ohio, and if we have probable cause, we are going to continue to provide enforcement,” Sellers said.