How WA Law Enforcement Is Recalibrating Under Pot Legalization


With Washington State’s adoption of legal marijuana, federal drug official Dave Rodriguez laments the end of pot-sniffing dogs, reports NPR. “That was an important tool, using drug dogs to help you establish probable cause,” says Rodriguez, who works in Seattle for the White House drug policy office, focusing on high-intensity drug trafficking. He says big drug busts may be harder to come by now, because local cops are rethinking what to do when they encounter marijuana. “Everybody’s very cautious, because they don’t want to get sued. They don’t want to set bad case law,” he says. The real test of the conflict between state and federal laws comes next year, when growers start producing marijuana under state license. The feds say pot had better not show up outside Washington State. State officials promise to make sure it doesn’t. Meanwhile, the Washington State Patrol is looking for drivers who might be trying pot for the first time. “You’re talking about a stick of dynamite there essentially, because essentially that person doesn’t know how they’re gonna react to the marijuana they’ve smoked, because they’ve never done it before, because it was illegal before,” says one officer.

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