One of the longest standing debates of all on the subject of marijuana has been that of weed’s signature fragrance. Of course it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that as far as seasoned pot smokers are concerned, there is pretty much no finer smell on God’s green earth than the scent of a fresh bud. But what has always been more interesting is the way in which such a huge proportion of the non-smoking community have shown no real aversion to the smell of marijuana smoke. Nevertheless, there are those that have always taken unkindly to the smell of pot and have of course started voicing their complaints more vigorously since weed was legalized across a number of American states.
As far as critics are concerned, marijuana smoke represents the kind of smell that is a public nuisance and should therefore be largely restricted in public areas. It sounds on the surface like a bit of a ridiculous concept, as to legalize the use of weed but then summarily restrict its use due to its fragrance would be counterproductive to say the least – one step forward, one big step back. Nevertheless, plenty of states across the USA have already introduced restrictions based entirely around the smell of marijuana making it pretty difficult to stay within the confines of the law when finding a suitable place to smoke. After all, if your home was found to be billowing out smoke to such an extent that the neighbours complained, you might find yourself in trouble even though technically you were doing something legal in a legally designated place.
Mercifully, at least one state seems to have seen sense by taking the matter to court and debating it in a manner where both sides of the subject were looked at fairly and equally. And as you would expect, at least where common sense is injected into the equation, the Oregon court decided that the smell of marijuana is not in fact offensive.
The long and short of it was that the Oregon court of appeals was presented with a case whereby the smell of marijuana smoke creeping into the homes of other people had been labelled as unpleasant and unacceptable by those with an aversion to its smell. In reaching its decision, the court ruled that while there are certain physically offensive odours that everybody hates, sewage and rotten eggs for example, marijuana just did not fit into the same bracket at all.
“We are not prepared to declare that the odour of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odour of garbage. Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing,” was the surprisingly sensible, educated and agreeable ruling the court came to. As such, from this moment on it will simply be the case that those in Oregon with any kind of aversion to the smell of cannabis will either have to go the extra mile to stay away from the stuff, or to simply suck it up and deal with it.
The appeal court’s decision really couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time as it was only last month that anew law was passed in Oregon which made it legal to grow, own and use marijuana across the state. As such, were it to have been legal to do all such things, but illegal to bother anyone else with the smell of the marijuana smoke, chances are things would have ended up a thousand times more complicated than they were before.
Of course, there isn’t a single educated and reasonable marijuana smoker out there that would disagree with the fact that in this new age of marijuana legislation in particular, it is more important than ever to be courteous to non-smokers. That being said, there’s also a difference between a neighbour who complains about a pot smoking house that churns out smoke at the same kind of level as an eighties heavy metal concert and one that moans about the tiniest smell on the breeze just for the sake of it.