The old “mice ate 1,100 pounds of marijuana in the police station evidence room again,” apology.

Rats have been blamed for many things, from drinking beer to eating currency to destroying clothing. Now the latest allegation against the four-legged long-tailed rodent is the consumption of cannabis in a police warehouse of all places.

Mathura Police in Uttar Pradesh have accused rats of ‘eating’ more than 581kg of marijuana which was due to be found last month and subsequently brought to court.

All of the cannabis loot was held at highway and Sher Garh Police Station storage facilities and had a combined value of Rs 60 lakh (over US$70,000). According to the responsible police officers, the rodents consumed 80% of the total prey before they (the police officers) decided to destroy the rest. However, descriptions of the exact sequence of activities that took place after the rats allegedly consumed the cannabis are somewhat vague.

In response to this bizarre claim, most Indians and international observers are stunned.

Subham Singh, a pest control officer, says rats can’t consume as much cannabis as Mathura police claim. He also stressed that 100 rats could not consume 581 kg of cannabis in a matter of days. Similarly, the court argued that rats could not ingest as much marijuana and that if a large group of rats had consumed the marijuana, multiple rat carcasses would have been discovered.

The Court’s Decision

The court has established new rules that allow police to auction off or dispose of marijuana that has been seized. The court ruling says the court ruled that policies to protect the cannabis seized must be put in place as a rat problem plagues most police stations and warehouses.

Judge Sanjay Chaudhary identified three cases in which rats damaged cannabis stored in police camps.

First, police had claimed that over 400 pounds of marijuana had been “destroyed” by rats when the court asked them to display the marijuana they had stolen as evidence.

Another incident contained 800 pounds (386 kg) of the drug, and according to authorities, “part” of it was “eaten by the rats.” Finally, eight Argentine police officers were fired in 2018 after they claimed rats were responsible for 500kg of marijuana stolen from police storage facilities.

According to Judge Chaudhary, police had seized 700kg of cannabis from police stations in the Mathura area, all of which were now threatened by rat infestations. Noting that the rats were “too small,” he said police may lack the necessary skills to deal with the situation. Therefore, the only way to secure the stolen products from “such brave vermin” was to auction them off to research institutes and pharmaceutical companies, with the proceeds going to the state.

Later, the court ordered the removal of rats from all train stations and camps. The judge also required evidence that rodents had actually ingested marijuana. The police team was also instructed to submit a report and supporting documents in this case by November 26.

After the trial, Mathura City Police Superintendent Martand Prakash Singh told CNN that rain and water, not rats, destroyed the marijuana. He dismissed the court’s allegations, saying that rats were not mentioned in the report submitted to the court. He said the police only pointed out that rain and water destroyed the collected cannabis.

Similar rat consumption habits in India

As mentioned, rats have been blamed for a series of strange pieces of evidence around the world over the past decade.

For example, in 2020, police arrested three men at the same Shergarh police station with 386kg of marijuana hidden in a vehicle. The SHO at Shergarh Police Station testified in court that the confiscated marijuana stored in the warehouse was “eaten” by rats. But Shergarh Police Station is not the first in India or elsewhere to claim that rats used marijuana or drank alcohol.

Another excellent and early example is when rats were responsible for ingesting 540 kg of marijuana that authorities in Pilar, Argentina, said disappeared from the police camp in April 2018. The missing marijuana was not discovered until a police officer discovered an error in the weight of the quantity of marijuana seized.

The third example is Arid Bihar. In the years since Bihar’s alcohol ban in 2016, police have conducted countless searches, arrested thousands of people on alcohol charges, confiscated several bottles of foreign and domestic liquor, and made numerous arrests. Several bottles of alcohol suddenly disappeared after authorities in Bihar’s Kaimur district in 2018 confiscated 200 aluminum-steel-lid beer cans and stored them in a storage room. Patna’s police officers claimed rats drank the alcohol. Upon further investigation, it turned out that the people indulging in the liquor bottles were not the rodents, but police officers Nirmal Singh and Shamsher Khan. It is noteworthy that both men were drunk when they were eventually arrested.

Another case was when technicians were sent to Assam to fix a broken ATM in 2018; They found that over 1.2 million rupees ($14,691, £12,143) worth of banknotes had been destroyed. The entire incident was blamed on Rats.

Last Words: What Science Says

Experts stated that the claim itself was unlikely. Only on extremely rare occasions will the animals mistake drugs for food, and if they had, “a huge group of mice would have ingested it. The absence of rodent carcasses within and around the scenes refutes these claims. Additionally, it was found that lab rats become drowsy when exposed to THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, according to a 2016 study from the University of British Columbia.

In this study, twenty-nine rats were trained to take part in an experiment in which they had to choose between an easy or a difficult task in order to receive treats. The rats typically chose the more complicated — and more rewarding — activity, but after being administered the THC, the same rodents preferred the easier tasks.



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