Legalizing marijuana could lead to police K9 dogs being killed, Illinois official warns

This is a ruff pill to swallow.

An Illinois county official reportedly told a local paper that if the state legalizes marijuana, it may lead to the euthanasia of K-9s trained at seeking out the drug.

Chad Larner, who heads training at the K-9 Training Academy in Macon, reportedly made the comments to the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Larner reportedly told the paper that retraining the dogs would likely lead to “extreme abuse.”

“The biggest thing for law enforcement is, you're going to have to replace all of your dogs,” Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett told the paper. “So to me, it’s a giant step forward for drug dealers, and it’s a giant step backwards for law enforcement and the residents of the community."

Buffett told the paper that law enforcement would likely have to replace all of its dogs.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a proposal that would expand the use of medical marijuana to fight the state’s opioid crisis and make Illinois the 10th state to legalize the drug. The Senate bill would allow individuals who qualify for opioid prescriptions to apply for the state’s medical cannabis program, the Southern Illinoisan reported .

The proposal would create a pilot program where patients can take a physician certification to a dispensary to receive medical marijuana. Dispensaries would have to verify the certification and be required to dispense medical cannabis in set amounts tied to the recommended duration of the opioid prescription.

The bill overwhelmingly passed in the Senate. The Illinois House Rules Committee has now been asked to review the legislation. A recent poll showed that 66 percent of the state’s residents support the move.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Edmund DeMarche is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.