Apparently states where marijuana cultivation occurs are in danger of being overrun by a plague of fried rabbits. Matt Fairbanks, Special Agent for DEA, recently testified before the Utah State Legislature arguing against a proposed medical marijuana bill on the grounds that no one knows what effect increased marijuana cultivation will have on forests, waterways, and wildlife.
During his testimony, Fairbanks expressed concerns that wildlife might develop a taste for marijuana, relating a story about a rabbit he found while destroying an illegal marijuana field. Although he and his fellow agents removed all the plants around the rabbit, it had lost its natural instinct to flee.
While the thought of stoner bunny rabbits might seem amusing (and might explain Jimmy Carter’s infamous leporine dust-up), how would you like to happen up on a bear with the munchies? Is it possible for deer to become more paranoid than they already are, or will they just become melloooow? I will have to admit, a chipmunk with a case of the giggles might be fun to watch.
Perhaps Utah is only now getting into the marijuana cultivation business, but there are a few states that have extensive histories with this particular farm commodity. Over the years one or two fields or marijuana plants have been discovered in California for example, yet there have been few instances where wildlife has been impacted (unless you include Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong), although there is one unconfirmed report of a pair of very mellow rabbits being found near a site where 5 acres of carrots went missing.
While there are a number of very good arguments against the legalization of marijuana, stoned wildlife would rank somewhere near the bottom of the list.