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Rats high on NOPD marijuana become viral New Orleans mascot

NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick’s statement, “The rats are eating our marijuana; they’re all high,” has led to international news coverage and a t-shirt


Photo/Dirty Coast website

By Doug Maccash
The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate

NEW ORLEANS — “The rats are eating our marijuana; they’re all high.” — NOPD Superintendent Anne Kirkpatrick.

With those words, the newish top cop joined the likes of Lafcadio Hearn and Tennessee Williams in eternally adding to the catalog of defining Crescent City phrases.

Kirkpatrick was referring to a raging rodent infestation in the decrepit Police Headquarters building on Tulane Avenue that includes the department’s evidence room, where impounded narcotics are stored.

But in a larger sense, Kirkpatrick distilled the entire gestalt of our charmingly flawed town into a mere nine words.

For all time to come, we may be seen as a stoned Hamelin south.

It is probably just a coincidence that the wasted rodents seemed to become emboldened after law enforcement officials confiscated all the pythons on Bourbon Street. Or maybe not. As ganja aficionado Bob Marley put it “For every little action, there’s a reaction.”

On a related note: Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño described the condition of the 1968 police headquarters building as “dire straits,” but from the stoned rodent point of view, it’s probably more “grateful dead.”

Mirth is, of course, a natural resource in New Orleans, and entrepreneurs will surely produce products inspired by the superintendent’s infestation declaration. In fact, the folks over at Dirty Coast are accepting orders for a marvelous new T-shirt that includes a pink-eyed, cartoon rat wearing a hazard cone hat, accompanied by Looney Tunes-style lettering that reads “They’re all High!”

The shirts sell for $30 and will be shipped in late March.

We predict that the artists over at Kern Studios will soon be busy sculpting enormous marijuana leaves and furry rodents to nosh on them.

Meanwhile the Crescent City’s newest catch phrase has found its way into the international press, and social media reactions are piling up.

“The only creatures that seem to be enjoying the decaying New Orleans Police Department headquarters are the rats in the building’s evidence room, officials said this week” — CBS

“Cops in New Orleans are on the tail of a brazen gang of narcotics traffickers who broke into the evidence room at police headquarters and pilfered all the pot: a swarm of rodents with a hankering for the high life.” — The Guardian

“To be blunt, rats getting high on New Orleans police department’s confiscated marijuana” —

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