Wildlife officials in Colorado are blaming the abundance of marijuana, which has been legal in the state since early 2014, for the drop in the state’s rabbit populations.
Because marijuana is now often left out in the open, including on porches and in outdoor sheds, curious rabbits are cultivating a taste for it, says Eric Toquer of the state’s wildlife division.
“Even jackrabbits, which are known to copulate as many as 50 times per day, are increasingly uninterested in mating, preferring instead to remain in dens while listening to rabbit music,” he said. “Park rangers are reporting being able to approach dozens of rabbits lying in an open field, too high to even get up, let alone screw each other.”
However, the Association of Marijuana Vendors points to evidence that out-of-state rabbits, particularly from places where marijuana is harder to come by, are migrating en masse into Colorado and should provide suitable numbers to replenish native populations.
“The other day I was talking to a farmer from Sterling who said that he’s being overrun by aggressive cottontails from Nebraska who are looking for pot to munch on,” said Shane Gibbons, the association’s president. “Apparently, they’re all over the place saying, ‘gimme, gimme, gimme.’”
Still, some zoologists fear that if laws are not passed requiring people to store their marijuana in locked boxes, preferably indoors, by 2020 many of the state’s most iconic native animal populations will disappear completely.
“Coyotes, elk, black bears, and also our beloved bighorn sheep could vanish,” said Sarah Costas, an animal addiction expert and author of “When Skunks Smoke Skunk.” “They’re all dabbling in this new pot thing, and they’re forgetting about what’s really important: reproduction and survival of the species.”
“Even birds flying overhead are inhaling pot smoke, getting buzzed, and ignoring their instincts,” she said. “Just the other day, a bunch of stoned Canadian geese flew right into the side of a Fort Collins Whole Foods building, killing the whole damn flock.”
While state legislators are expected to address the problem before the end of the current session, in the meantime Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered wildlife officials to begin distributing lapine Viagra, and should that not work, then to post pornographic images of mating rabbits on trees and rocks in areas where the animals are known to congregate.