I have heard of marijuana odor bans before. I have always thought that they were ridiculous because municipalities are trying to ban the smell of nature. How is that even enforceable? How can law enforcement, or citizens for that matter, differential the smell of marijuana from other smells? I have family members that cannot tell the difference between a skunk in the distance, or marijuana being grown/consumed in the distance. Not everyone is offended by the smell of marijuana, and I have found that most people actually enjoy it, even non-consumers.
A city in Oregon (Pendleton) recently banned the smell of marijuana within city limits. That ordinance led a man to write his local newspaper and demand that the city also regulate the smell of farts, because after all, he finds the smell offensive. While the letter to the editor that he sent in was mean to be a joke, it also highlights the ridiculousness of the marijuana odor ban. Per OPB:
With the passage of an amendment to Pendleton city code to contain the smell of marijuana, one man saw a chance to rein in lingering bodily odors as well.
“While farting may be legal in Oregon, many (including myself) are offended by the flatulent stench,” said Peter Walters’ letter to the editor in the East Oregonian. He goes on to complain that businesses and homeowners can’t seem to contain farts, and calls on the city to address the problem.
“The Mayor and a few on the council have made it clear that they want to fight this legalization with every thing they can,” wrote Walters in a Facebook message. “Meanwhile, everyone in this town thinks that the city council is a joke because they spend their time on stupid crap like lingering pot smells while citizens complain about ten-year-old pot holes.”
Kudos to Mr. Walters. His letter was entertaining and insightful. If a city can ban the odor of marijuana, which will be perfectly legal statewide on July 1, where is the line drawn? There are many, many odors out there that people find offensive. Should we ban them all? What is the harm that can result from the smell of marijuana? What a waste of time. I hope that the citizens of Pendleton hold the elected officials that passed this ordinance accountable.