It sounds like a juicy plotline from a third-rate horror flick: A swarm of Argentine rats chew their way through a wall in a police station’s evidence room and eat nearly half a ton of weed. But, alas, it’s just a tall tale from the cops.
According to two Argentine newspapers — Pilar de Todos and Clarín — 540 kilos (1,190 pounds) of marijuana vanished from police inventory in the city of Pilar last year. The police officers responsible needed to come up with an airtight story. One of them came up with the least plausible explanation possible: The rats ate it.
After an internal investigation, the eight officers were fired after four of the stuck to the fabrication in a court of law.
“Professionals from the UBA [University of Buenos Aires] explained that rodents can not confuse the drug with food and that, if a large group had ingested it, many bodies should have been found in the warehouse,” judicial sources said.
The officers stand accused of not having fulfilled the responsibility of guarding evidence (in total, six tons of marijuana was in the evidence room). They are ordered to appear before the court next month.
Growing, using or selling marijuana is illegal in Argentina. But the nation decriminalized possessing small amounts nine years ago. Last April, Argentina legalized medical marijuana. The law established a regulatory framework that enables scientific and medical marijuana research while providing marijuana to qualifying patients free of charge.
But cultivating cannabis remains an offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison when intended for commercial purposes, and up to two years if the authorities deem it is for personal use.