World

Rats blamed for eating 500 kilograms of cannabis stored by Indian police


New Delhi
CNN

Rats in northern India have been accused of eating hundreds of kilograms of cannabis seized from drug dealers and stored in police warehouses.

“Rats are small animals and they are not afraid of the police,” a court in the city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, noted after learning that local police were unable to deliver nearly 200 kilograms of seized cannabis that was intended to be used as evidence in a recent case.

According to court documents, the police had been asked to provide 386 kilograms of cannabis, but the prosecution reported to the court that more than 700 kilograms of marijuana stored at various stations in Mathura may have been affected by the rat infestation.

And this was – reportedly – not the first time the rats have struck. The judge hearing the case named Mathura police who blamed the rodents for destroying a total of more than 500 kilograms of cannabis seized in several cases and stored at Shergarh and Highway police station in the city .

The court then issued guidelines for the police to either auction off or dispose of the cannabis.

“There is a rat threat in almost all police stations. Therefore, the necessary arrangements must be made to secure the confiscated cannabis,” the court document said.

However, accounts of the exact sequence of events that followed the alleged cannabis consumption by the rats seem a bit hazy.

Mathura City Police Superintendent Martand Prakash Singh told CNN after the lawsuit that the cannabis was “destroyed by rain and floods” and not by rats.

“There was no reference to rats in the (report filed with the court)… the police only mentioned that the seized cannabis had been destroyed in the rain and flooding,” he said.

If the rats are guilty of the charge, maybe they’re taking it easy now. A 2016 study from the University of British Columbia found that the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana made lab rats lazy.

Researchers trained 29 rats to perform an experiment in which the rodents had to choose between a simple or more difficult task to earn treats.

The rats typically chose the harder — and more rewarding — task, but after being given marijuana, the same rats chose the easier task.

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