I would certainly not have predicted Utah to be the next state to take up the mantle of marijuana legalization, but thankfully, they are. I say this not because I’m a supporter of legalization (though I am), but because Utah’s legislative hearings on their medical marijuana bill — which would allow certain persons with “debilitating illnesses” access to “edible forms” of the drug — are absolutely magnificent.

Last week, Utah welcomed Drug Enforcement Administration agent Matt Fairbanks to testify, and among his rationales for bringing Utah back from the abyss: that Utah’s entire rabbit population is, from here on out, going to be stoned out of its ever-loving rabbit mind.

Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state’s wildlife may “cultivate a taste” for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time. That’s according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who’s been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the “marijuana eradication” team in Utah.

I can picture it now, a sort of Breaking Bad meets Watership Down scenario, in which Salt Lake City is overrun with haplessly unmotivated, lazy rabbits with the munchies, chowing down on Utah’s prized lawns and herb gardens (no pun intended), just waiting for their next opportunity to chomp down on some hemp and get high. As rabbits mostly exist as an endless food source for other animals less likely to develop a fondness for toking up, the scenario has both its benefits and drawbacks. While Utah’s dog population will probably be rather more agitated than usual, I presume, its coyote population is likely looking forward to the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Granted, Fairbanks does have some legitimate points. Unlawful marijuana cultivation — or, for that matter, unlawful cultivation of any kind — has the potential to create harmful circumstances and have an environmental impact. But of course, there’s an argument to be made that making cultivation legal allows authorities to mitigate these consequences by heavily regulating the crop. And while there is the greater potential for wildlife misbehavior, one need only look to Australia to understand that, despite our best efforts, our farm animal population will always have its fair share of bad seeds.

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