As I’m reading the paper this morning (July 17), I see that some of our city councilors take issue with the Moscow Police Department getting a drug-sniffing dog because it might be able to detect marijuana.

Once councilor said, “I just don’t think that there’s enough justification when looking at all of the drugs that the dog could be sensitive to how (marijuana) fits into the same category.”

What category is that? Illegal drugs? Last time I looked, marijuana is still illegal in Idaho. Another voiced concern that what some may perceive as minor marijuana possession will be criminalized in a way it never has before, which could damage the relationship between residents and the police department. Criminalized in a way it never has before? I don’t think a drug sniffing dog is going to make marijuana more illegal.

Thankfully, some councilors have their heads on straight, stating that they would prefer that the professionals in this matter (the police) dictate what a drug sniffing dog be sensitized to.

A drug-sniffing dog is not going to be able to make arrests. That’s why the dog has a handler with knowledge and experience who can navigate those gray areas.

And kudos to Chief Fry, who said “I’m not going to sit up here and condone marijuana when it’s illegal and I think that I have to take that stand. I will take that stand. I’ll take that stand on anything. Idaho law says it’s a violation of the law, and I’m not going to step around that. I don’t think you hired me to step around that.”

That’s the stand I want my police chief to take: on the right side of the law.

Dan Carscallen


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