In Louisiana, Rats Are Eating Marijuana Stored in Evidence Room

Looking through the latest news outside of Louisiana, you’d come across many things like the Louisiana lottery, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana’s state capitol building, and even Ellen DeGeneres, but the last thing you’d expect to find is “Louisiana rats on steroids” or rats breaking into an evidence room to sniff out marijuana and destroy crucial stash belonging to the police.

Well, this is the case at the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) headquarters. Reports say that rodents have stormed the evidence room and are reportedly high off of the marijuana held there.

According to NOPD superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick, the headquarters had been infested with rodents and cockroaches, and the working conditions were anything but suitable.

Speaking to the city council’s Criminal Justice Committee on Monday, Kirkpatrick made it clear that something urgent had to be done about the rodent infestation. This problem was one of the many housekeeping problems her police headquarters was facing.

Old decrepit buildings can fall into disrepair, becoming filthy and unhygienic. Rodent feces on police desks aren’t just the only problem but part of the double whammy the workers are facing there.


What To Do

First off, they will need to deal with the rats’ filth and the problem of marijuana getting eaten in the evidence room by the same culprits. According to reporters, Kirkpatrick said that valuing employees doesn’t mean allowing them to continue working in unacceptable conditions.

She also discouraged anyone wishing to join the police force from visiting the headquarters, which was in dire condition. Visiting a place facing issues of mold and infestations would most certainly make any aspiring police officer question their career choice.

Rat droppings on top of a broken elevator and non-functioning plumbing and air conditioning would be an instant turnoff for anyone hoping to work there. According to New Orleans TV station WDSU, as reported by USA Today, the deplorable conditions of the New Orleans police headquarters date back as far as fifteen years.

This unfortunate crisis made headlines after the police headquarters was directed to temporarily move their services to a building downtown for the next ten years until another space was secured.


A Safe Space Where Rats Don’t Eat Evidence

Following Kirkpatrick’s disclosure of the problems afflicting the police headquarters, members of the city council decided to approve a 10-year lease agreement for a $7.6 million move to a new building, according to CBS. Gilbert Montaño, the chief administrative officer, told the outlet that the relocation would be less expensive than raising roughly $30 million to repair the current headquarters.

Montaño added that the relocation of the headquarters would be a huge relief. He also told that most criminal justice agencies would need temporary housing while the old buildings were fixed. The city officials agreed to move the police department first out of all the offices in the criminal justice building.


A Conquest of Rodents

Breaking into an evidence room in a police headquarters shows just how far they can go, and you wouldn’t be surprised to find them in other places, too.

Kirkpatrick further revealed that the whole district was affected by the rats and that the janitorial team deserved an award for trying to clean what was uncleanable. She then commented that the conditions of where you work or live directly impact morale.

The work conditions at the headquarters didn’t do anything to boost the morale of her police force. Although Kirkpatrick’s remarks did not specify the type of cannabis products the rats are allegedly consuming, it seems improbable that raw marijuana flowers would make them feel high.

Although studies have shown that rats react similarly to humans to marijuana smoke and vapor, raw marijuana has very little active THC. Rather, it has THC-A, which needs to go through a procedure called decarboxylation to produce psychoactive effects.


What is the Marijuana Law in Louisiana?

Marijuana isn’t legalized for people in Louisiana. It’s only allowed for medicinal use, provided you get a doctor’s written recommendation for your condition. If you are found in recreational possession of 14 grams or less, you face a fine of up to $100.

The law that prohibits the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Louisiana was first implemented in the cities of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. Soon enough, it became a statewide law rendering recreational marijuana illegal all over the state.

A marijuana expungement bill passed by state legislators last year was signed into law in June by then-Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). The change allows those convicted of first-time possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis to ask the courts to expunge their record ninety days after the conviction.


Rats Destroying Stashes

The officials did not discuss what would happen to the rats, which are not the first ones to break into evidence rooms for Marijuana. In the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police reported that rats ate 400 pounds of Marijuana that had been seized as evidence for multiple drug cases, according to a report by BBC in 2022.