Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced a new grant program on Tuesday for law enforcement programs in the state to obtain and train new K-9 units to track and apprehend illegal drugs.

Knudsen explained why the current K-9’s can no longer be used.

“Legalized marijuana is starting here in the near future in Montana,” said Knudsen. “A lot of our drug canines are trained on marijuana. They're not trained to differentiate between marijuana and a lot of the other drugs that they're trained to sniff, and that's a problem. So we either have to retire them or retrain them and when we retire them, we have to replace them.”

Knudsen introduced the new K-9 grant program.

“What we're doing here at the Department of Justice, is that we are very proud to announce we just rolled out a new grant program for local sheriff's offices or police departments to apply for a grant through the Department of Justice and get a new drug sniffing canine,” he said.

Knudsen said these dogs are highly intelligent and will play an important  part in drug interdiction.

“If you've ever been around these drug dogs, they're amazing critters to be around,” he said. “They just they do phenomenal work. With all the technology we have in the world right now, there's still nothing better than a canine’s nose to detect drugs. So we're very proud to announce this program where we're going to help fund local law enforcement agencies getting new drug canines. This is a great program and we're already getting a lot of really positive response.”

Knudsen pounded that nail again about the massive amount of drugs pouring through the largely unguarded southern border.

“We know that almost 100% of the illegal drugs in the state are coming from the cartels in Mexico,” he said. “They are smuggled across the southern border, and they are coming into the western states and into Montana within a matter of days. The problem is that the southern border is wide open. The previous administration under President Trump was trying to get it closed down. They made some great strides and we're actually seeing some positive effects from that, but the Biden administration has reversed all that, and they've thrown the doors even wider open, and we're now feeling the effects of that in Montana, unfortunately, as well.”


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