Salt Lake City, Utah – This heavily Mormon dominated state is actually considering taking up a bill to allow medical patients to consume an edible form of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
As part the legislative process, the state senate panel considering the bill invited an agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to address legislators and offer his opinion of the bill.
Special agent Matt Fairbanks made it clear in no uncertain terms that he disapproves of the measure. While he explained the realities involved with growing marijuana, the media latched on to one small comment he made regarding marijuana crops.
Special agent Fairbanks was actually informing senators that illegal marijuana growers contribute to deforestation, contamination of soil via pesticides and other chemicals, soil erosion, and other destructive practices to the environment, but that wasn’t what grabbed people’s attention.
What raised eyebrows was his account of a rabbit that had grown a taste for eating the edible marijuana plants. As DEA agents raided an illegal pot farm, agents began pulling up the narcotic weeds only to find a rabbit in the midst of the field.
High Times writes:
Using stoned rabbits as a warning against marijuana legalization seems like a bit of a stretch. While it’s probably not the best idea to intoxicate your pets, lots of animals get high, and no harm ever comes of it. Last year, a flock of sheep in England ate £4,000 worth of pot. In the Canadian Rockies, wild bighorn sheep go to extreme lengths to find rare narcotic lichens. Even some zoos give lions Christmas trees to play with due to the catnip-like effect they have on the felines.
The natural instinct of the mammal is to run from humans. Regardless, this rabbit remained in place. Fairbanks concluded it had to be on one righteously mellow high so that its natural instinct to flee was suppressed.
All things considered, Special agent Fairbank’s experience is anecdotal. It does not appear that there is a serious risk to creating a drug addicted segment of the rabbit population. Apparently, during the years prior to enactment of prohibition, some people claimed squirrels were getting into locally made moonshine and become quasi-alcoholics. The arguments lacked any serious science. As for the environmental impact of illegal marijuana, some suggest it is no more or less than that caused by other agricultural products.
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