A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent testified to a Utah legislative committee that legalizing marijuana in the Beehive State would lead to stoned rabbits, Death and Taxes is reporting.
A Utah Senate committee heard testimony last week from DEA agent Matt Fairbanks. Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with very specific debilitating medical conditions to consume marijuana edibles. But Fairbanks, who has worked in Utah sussing out illegal marijuana grow operations in Utah's back country, isn't on board.
"Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion…The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown…I saw rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana…One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."That's right; Matt Fairbanks doesn't want Utah to legalize medical marijuana because it would lead to stoned rabbits.
It's true that some animals can, in fact, develop a taste for the cannabis plant as the following video shows.
However, whether or not animals eat cannabis for the high is debatable. You have to heat THC to activate its psychoactive properties; eating leaves (or even flowers) raw doesn't pack the same punch, according to Global Healing Center.
Also, as a general rule, it's a good idea to keep marijuana edibles away from pets, including, presumably, rabbits, as well as dogs and cats. According to this Inquisitr report, pets who have gotten into their owners' edibles have been turning up in veterinary emergency rooms in alarming numbers.
Mr. Fairbanks' concerns about legal marijuana's impact on the Utah environment overlook a rather important fact, according to Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham.
"It's true that illegal pot farming can have harmful environmental consequences. Of course, nothing about these consequences is unique to marijuana. If corn were outlawed and cartels started growing it in national forests, the per-plant environmental toll would be about the same. But backcountry marijuana grows are a direct result of marijuana's illegal status. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of these grows, an alternative is to legalize and regulate the plant so that people can grow it on farms and in their gardens, rather than on remote mountainsides."You can watch Mr. Fairbanks' testimony here. Skip to the 58:00 mark to hear his concerns about stoned rabbits getting hooked on Utah's legal medical marijuana.
[Images courtesy of: Pixgood, Death and Taxes]