To give sort of a background here, in 2019 I moved to a smaller rural community. It's really something of a truck-stop town, along a major highway and surrounded by some of the few small farms and shrinking timber industry left in America. Now, once upon a time, the State was an agricultural and timber-producing power in the US. We produced more apples, cherries, and peaches than the rest of the world combined; and were in the top 10 states producing potatoes, grain, berries, and onions.
Today, a few orchards have converted into wineries; while Willy Gates and Jeff Bezos have bought up most of the distressed farmlands. Our local supermarkets are seeing dwindling supplies of meats, dairy products, eggs, and fish (with correspondingly high prices). The shelf spaces are being filled with synthetic and plant-based 'substitutes'---produced by companies which are owned by the aforementioned Gates and Bezos. That doesn't mean our Ag Industry is dead: Marijuana is by far the leading cash-crop. We have one '420 Store' in town and two businesses catering supplies to home-growers. They do thriving business, while two of our small grocers recently went out of business.
While Gates and Bezos are rats in their own way, we're discussing today the actual animal. Not long after the weather began turning nice, I began seeing rats around the place. They're always a nuisance anywhere, but it was unusual to see them in the daytime. They started creating problems out in the garden, and I realized that I hadn't been seeing many of their natural predators (e.g. raccoons, possums, hawks, snakes, etc) around lately. Also, their main competitors for food (e.g. squirrels, birds) also seemed more scarce.
Lately these critters seem to have become more bold and aggressive: they've made a couple of raids in the house and I even saw one jump through an open window. Wondering where these things are coming from, I suspected the neighbor. They're known marijuana-growers (totally licensed and legal of course); and I think we all know that potheads don't typically have the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
So I dropped by and sure enough there was plenty of trash around but not really enough to start an infestation. I mentioned the rat problem to one of the guys and he said, yes they've had the same issue. He took me to his growing room and solemnly showed me a special tent where they grew plants for seed. The rats, he explained, had gnawed their way into the tent and were eating the seeds.
That told me all that I needed to know right there. Marijuana plants produce a flower which has concentrated levels of THC and is source of the high-potency products sold today. These flowers can be left to form a seed-pod which is even more concentrated. It's like some of the mid-20th Century anti-drug ads used to say: "Marijuana can turn a mouse into a maneater," and that's exactly what's happening.
Somewhere in this story is a commentary on the state of our society, but I'll let the readers draw their own conclusions on that one.
I wish that we could say that this is a purely personal or local anecdote, but sadly, we can't. There was a story recently about some biologists who were finding that geese and seagulls on area beaches were ingesting marijuana products discarded by beachgoers. Today, people who use pot products on the beaches are occasionally being attacked by these birds---eager to get their 'fix.' I've heard many stories of people in city parks suddenly attacked by raccoons and squirrels---which are normally not overly aggressive.
Our State has had more than one fishery closed by Federal inspectors because the levels of drugs in the water made the salmon unfit for consumption. A veterinarian told me recently that across the US (and in his own practice) there's been a surge the last few years of animals brought in and diagnosed with Narcosis from exposure to high-THC marijuana products. It's not only dogs and cats either. Out here in farm country, he told me that he's run across drug-poisoning cases in cattle and horses.
During the Trump Administration, there was a study done on the pollution and environmental impact of Marijuana growing and use on the West Coast. There were some steps taken to start cleaning up, but Orange Man Bad; and the rest is history. It was bad enough dealing with hop-headed psychos on the city streets, now we have deal with amped-up rats and seagulls and heaven-only-knows what else. Does anyone suppose all of these 'Green' Whackos on the Far Left are going to concern themselves with any of this? Somehow I can't bring myself to believe that people who promote Drag Queens in Kindergartens are going to lose much sleep over poisoning the environment with dope. They'll just go on at the Hookah Lounge, grabbing a soy-burger with synthetic cheese if they get 'the munchies' (i.e. their bodies reminding them that they need to eat); and patting themselves on the back for reducing their carbon footprint.