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Police in India Say Rats Ate More Than 1,100 Pounds of Confiscated Weed

You’ve heard the story of the dog that ate his homework. But what about the rats who ate their weed? That’s a new one, but it is apparently the account that has been offered up by law enforcement officials in India, who are blaming the pesky rodents for getting their fangs on some seized marijuana. 

CNN provides the odd (and sometimes disgusting!) details from court documents detailing the extent of rats’ damage to confiscated contraband north India.

The network quotes a court in the city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, which noted that “local police were unable to furnish almost 200 kilograms of confiscated cannabis that was supposed to be used as evidence in a recent case.”

“Rats are small animals, and they aren’t scared of the police,” the court said, as quoted by CNN.

“Court documents said the police had been asked to provide 386 kilograms of cannabis, but the prosecution flagged to the court that more than 700 kilograms of marijuana stored in various stations across Mathura could be impacted by the rat infestation,” CNN reported. “And this was – allegedly – not the first time the rats had struck. Mathura police was cited by the judge in the case as having blamed the rodents on the destruction of more 500 kilograms. [a little more than 1,100 pounds] of cannabis that had been seized in various cases and stored at the city’s Shergarh and Highway Police Station.”

You should note that not all people accept that view of the events. Mathura City Police Superintendent Martand Prakash Singh told CNN that the weed had in fact been “destroyed by rains and flooding,” not rats.

“There was no reference to rats in the (report submitted to the court) … the police only mentioned that the seized cannabis was destroyed in the rains and flooding,” Singh said.

India’s laws on cannabis use and cultivation are spelled out in the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985. According to the website The Print, the law “prohibits the sale and use of cannabis resin and flowers, [but] it permits the use of its seeds, stems, and leaves.”

India banned electronic cigarettes in 2019 after rising concerns about vaping. 

“Unfortunately, e-cigarettes got promoted initially as a way in which people can get out of the habit of smoking cigarettes. It was to be a weaning process from using cigarettes,” Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the time, as quoted by CNN. “The Cabinet rightly thought it is time and we immediately took a decision so that the health of our citizens, of our young, is not thrown to a risk.”

According to CNN, “Sitharaman added that the ban would cover e-cigarette production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement,” and that it included “all forms of ENDS, heat-not-burn products and e-hookah devices.”

“People who violate the ban once could face up to one year in prison or a fine of 100,000 rupees ($1,400) or both. The penalty for subsequent offenses would be five-year imprisonment with a maximum fine of 500,000 Rupees ($7,000). Storing e-cigarettes would also be punishable with up to six months in prison and a 50,000-rupee ($700) fine,” CNN reported at the time.

The Indian government said at the time that those “novel products come with attractive appearances and multiple flavors and their use has increased exponentially and has acquired epidemic proportions in developed countries, especially among youth and children.”