When authorities in Argentina discovered that a stash of confiscated marijuana had gone missing, they came up with an interesting story to explain what happened. Local police blame rats for missing 540 kilos of weed. But is it even possible for rats to eat that much cannabis?
The Case of the Disappearing Marijuana
Last April, Commissioner Emilio Portero took charge of police forces in Pilar, a town in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province. As part of the transition between commissioners, Portero received a full inventory of everything in possession of the police.
In particular, Portero noticed that the cops had a stash of 6,000 kilos of weed that had been seized during drug busts. However, when Portero looked a little closer he discovered that the most recent count showed only 5,460 kilos. Somehow, 540 kilograms of cannabis had gone missing.
Portero filed a complaint and launched an investigation. The goal was to figure out exactly what happened to all that missing weed. In particular, Portero wanted to know if it had been stolen and sold by police officers.
As the investigation unfolded, local officials claimed that the missing marijuana had become “food for the rats.” But that explanation didn’t satisfy everyone. In fact, Portero and other authorities are continuing to investigate whether that claim is even plausible.
“Professionals . . . analyzed the case and explained that the rats could never have confused marijuana with any type of food” one expert told local news source Clarín.
“In the event that a large group had eaten [the marijuana], many corpses should be found.”
Final Hit: Police Blame Rats For Missing 540 Kilos of Weed
So far, experts haven’t been convinced by the rat food argument. After disproving that possibility, investigators proposed that maybe the weed had dried out. That could theoretically account for a drop in weight. But even that theory doesn’t account for the full 540 kilograms.
“One possibility was that marijuana would have lost volume because it dried up,” said Clarín’s sources. “But even though that phenomenon exists, even with the most [generous] calculations there was still a significant shortage.”
At this point, investigators are not convinced by the rat argument. Similarly, it appears that the dried out weed theory is also unconvincing.
As a result, the investigation remains ongoing. Investigators looking into the case are still concerned that the missing weed was stolen by cops.
Most recently, Judge González Charvay has issued formal summonses to two police chiefs and two police officers. Clarín reported that the cops are scheduled to testify on May 4.
It is illegal to grow, consume, and sell cannabis in Argentina. However, in 2009 the country’s Supreme Court decriminalized the use of small amounts of weed in private locations.
Similarly, in 2017, the country made headlines when it legalized cannabis oil and other extracts for medical uses. In particular, the program was notable for establishing a program through which the country could distribute medical marijuana to patients for free.
At the same time, the law drew criticism from advocacy groups in the country. Groups like Mamá Cultiva have critiqued the law for failing to legalize personal, at-home cannabis cultivation.
As part of the medical marijuana program, cultivation is legal for only state-approved, commercial growers. Many see this as too restrictive and have pressed the government to allow patients to grow their own marijuana.