Somebody seems to have started their 4/20 celebration a little early. A stoned raccoon taken to a fire station in Indiana for help could have been in a load of trouble–cannabis is not legal in any form in the state and carries a misdemeanor charge punishable by 180 days in jail and $1000 fine, according to NORML— but firefighters instead took mercy on the carnivora and sent him home.
Last week a woman in a panic took her pet racoon to Fire Station 82 in Wayne Township, Indiana in a state that firefighters deemed “lethargic,” according to the Washington Post. Workers at the station did not take the woman’s name, but they said she claimed that the raccoon had gotten into someone else’s stash.
Though the stuff the raccoon got into might have been fire, the firefighters did not think they were the appropriate authority on the situation. “We typically love to help, especially when it comes to animals. We have a lot of animal lovers in the fire service,” fire department spokesman Michael Pruitt said in an interview. “But in this case, they just recommended, ‘Hey, the raccoon is going to have to sleep it off.’ ”
Even though no one was charged with any pot crimes, there were other state regulations to consider. After the station posted the incident on their Facebook account, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources got involved, alerting the station that they wanted to find out if the woman in question had the proper permit for such a pet. The Post says that raccoon keepers are also required by law to provide “creature comforts including a ‘nest box or sheltered retreat,’ branches for climbing and a wading pool or water container.”
The firefighters, however, did not look into this. “We’re not in the business of policing who has permits for their animals and who does not,” Pruitt said. “We do not expect her or the raccoon to come out of the woodwork to claim credit for the story.”
Photo via Flickr user Kathy & Sam