The DEA's best argument against legal weed is ... stoned rabbits?

The DEA's best argument against legal weed is ... stoned rabbits?

VicesMay 01, 2015

Utah is considering a unique bill that would allow people with certain medical conditions to be treated with various forms of edible marijuana. Sounds nice, doesn't it? However, the DEA has some opposition to the bill — but their beef with it isn't what most would think.

The DEA — the government agency that deals with drug use and trafficking among humans — appears to be unreasonably concerned about the bill, not because edible concentrations are so varying and could be dangerous, not because of edible labeling concerns, but because ... growing weed in Utah could get a bunch of rabbits pretty high.

... Initiate blank stare sequence in 3...2...1.

If the bill passes, the DEA is worried the state's wildlife may "cultivate a taste" for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time.

Potentially-stoned rabbit: That's their best argument against legal weed. And that's the testimony they presented to a Utah Senate panel (right around the 58:00 mark on the audio below) last month.

"I deal in facts. I deal in science," said special agent Matt Fairbanks of the DEA, who presented the argument to the panel. Matt, you guys, is a current member of the "marijuana eradication" team in Utah, so he must know what he's talking about. Some of his colleagues with similar positions in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree's garden and seizing a number of okra plants. Thank god okra is off the street; looks like the task force is really doing a swell job.

To win over the panel, agent Matt spoke of his time busting back-country marijuana grows in the Utah mountains and of the environmental costs associated with large-scale weed farming: "Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion," he said. "The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown."

Oh, you mean like with regular industrial farming of cattle and GMO corn that rakes in millions for the American agricultural industry? Moving on ...

He then brought up, at some illegal marijuana grow sites in Utah, "rabbits had cultivated a taste for the marijuana." He continues: "One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."

OMG. WOW. That sounds horrible. Humans interacting with animals in a peaceful, non-violent way? Animals transcending the boundaries of species and evolution to cuddle you adorably? Disgusting. Make it stop. We can hear no more of this drivel! Rabbits are for backcountry stew meat and foot keychains only.

Too bad anyone failed to realize backcountry marijuana grows are a direct result of weed being illegal. If there's valid concern amongst the DEA that legal weed would have an environmental impact, the most intelligent option would be to legalize and regulate it so people can grow it safely on farms and in gardens — and not resort to cultivating it on the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere-where.

Now, regarding party rabbits. Some wildlife does develop a hankering for weed, but does the occasional mellow a rabbit might experience from eating a naturally-occuring plant justify keeping thousands of humans from being able to seek safe, non-pharmacuetical treatment for their illnesses? And how is that any different from intentionally giving your cat catnip?

It's the same thing. Only these bunnies are eating weed out on their own volition, and who knows ... maybe they have insomnia or ball cancer. Plus, being a bunny is a dreary, anxiety-riddled experience. Maybe every once and a while they just want to sit back, forget about coyotes and eagles, and chill.

Bunnies need medicine too.