​DEA Warns of Stoned Rabbits If Utah Legalizes Weed

By May Wilkerson 03/02/15

DEA agents Matt Fairbanks thinks that wildlife could develop a taste for weed.

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Could wild animals high on edible marijuana cause a threat to society? This is the claim presented by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who opposes legal weed in Utah on the grounds that it will lead to an outbreak of stoned bunnies.

The state is considering a bill to allow patients with certain severe medical conditions to be treated with edible pot. If passed, the state’s wildlife could “cultivate a taste” for the plant and lose all fear of humans, said special agent Matt Fairbanks, a member of the state’s “marijuana eradication" team.

"I deal in facts. I deal in science," said Fairbanks, speaking to a Utah Senate panel last week. Referring to his past experience eliminating marijuana grow ops in the Utah mountains, he warned about the environmental consequences of large-scale weed cultivation.

"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."

Though illegal cannabis farming has been known to cause damage to the environment, none of these consequences are specific to pot, The Washington Post points out. Backcountry marijuana grows are mostly harmful because they are illegal. Legalizing and regulating the industry would minimize these harms.

Regarding animal life, Fairbanks said he had witnessed "rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana.” One in particular “refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."

Though wild animals have been known to do drugs and get high, like these pot-eating deer, there is no evidence of animals posing a threat to society by “losing their fear” of humans. And if marijuana munching bunnies are grounds to prohibit pot, then these drunk pigeons and beer-stealing bears are grounds to ban booze, as well.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.