If sniffer dogs can detect marijuana on clothing months after exposure,
March 28, 2002 8:44 AM   Subscribe

If sniffer dogs can detect marijuana on clothing months after exposure, then why was a 15-year-old Ottawa high-school student suspended from school for two days when a sniffer dog apparently smelled pot on his winter coat? No other evidence was found. It seems to me that second-hand exposure ought to have been considered as a possibility here (cf. the Ross Rebagliati defence). The student has hired a high-profile lawyer. (Good for him.) Arbitrary school discipline at its best.
posted by mcwetboy (10 comments total)
 
If they couldn't find anything more than a trace of an odor, I'm really surprised that they went through with the suspension. Won't last, I bet. Heh, I wonder if it's the parents who smoke dope.

I know my Dad wouldn't have hired a high-priced lawyer for me. He would have made me confess.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:57 AM on March 28, 2002


Time to kick your dad in da butt dude :)
posted by elpapacito at 9:04 AM on March 28, 2002


Its one thing to use a dog's fine sense of smell to detect explosives or drugs in packages, but it seems to be a leap of faith to convict someone on the what amounts to the testimony of a dog.

Can they really assert in court that the dog alighted on the kid only because of the scent of marijuana (and not anything else)?
posted by BentPenguin at 9:11 AM on March 28, 2002


Even if the dog was accurate, why should the school care if the kid hung out with some kid who smoked weed three months ago? In MY world, you could do whatever you wanted when you weren't in school, and school wouldn't care (except for blowing up the school). Of course, in this same fantasy world of mine, they wouldn't hold college loans hostage to coerce you into not using drugs.
posted by donkeymon at 9:53 AM on March 28, 2002


Let me be the first to say (here, anyway), that what they did to this kid was complete bullshit.
posted by schlaager at 10:15 AM on March 28, 2002


>Heh, I wonder if it's the parents who smoke dope.

Naw, if so, how to hire the "high-priced-lawyer", as the money would normally be going "up-in-smoke"...

Hmmm, fortunately this cannot be legal. Urine test, blood sample, hair follicle test, but not "smell on clothing".

But then again in our "post-9/11" world, guilt by association is a standard practice...
posted by jkaczor at 10:29 AM on March 28, 2002


baggie of average-quality weed: fifty dollars. an hour of an average-quality lawyer's time: one hundred seventy-five dollars. being suspended from school because your mom borrowed your jacket to go out behind the woodshed with her girlfriends and have a midlife-crisis toke last New Year's Eve: priceless.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:54 AM on March 28, 2002


Can they really assert in court that the dog alighted on the kid only because of the scent of marijuana (and not anything else)?

Yeah, exactly.... for all we know, he might have had a sausage in his pocket.
posted by mkn at 11:23 AM on March 28, 2002


Just after 9 a.m., Chris's Grade 10 teacher told the class the school was in a lockdown, a situation where police officers, at the request of the school, would search the premises for weapons or drugs. Chris didn't think anything of it; he sat through two or three lockdowns last year.

Is this shit becoming standard practice? Isn't "lockdown" a term from prison management? I'm certainly no anti-government radical, but it nevertheless seems to me that we are training our children to live in a totalitarian state. After all, if Chris "didn't think anything of" the arbitrary search of his property at school, how far is he from not worrying about it when it happens at home?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:00 PM on March 28, 2002


Riddle me this: How do they know what the dog actually smelled. Do they train them with a system of paw handshakes and barks to reveal what substance they smell?
posted by skallas at 5:12 PM on March 28, 2002


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