Connect with us

Cannabis Now

Cannabis Now

It Turns Out a Majority of Americans Hate Smelling Marijuana in Public

Most Americans Hate the Smell of Weed in Public
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now


It Turns Out a Majority of Americans Hate Smelling Marijuana in Public

You might like your bud loud — but a recent study found the noses of American bystanders beg you to turn down the volume.

It doesn’t matter where a person is standing in the United States in this day and age — chances are you are going to catch a whiff of marijuana at some point or another.

From Los Angeles to New York City, it’s now par for the course for cannabis consumers to slip outside and catch a buzz, sending that telltale odor wafting through the air and within close enough proximity to the olfactory senses of unsuspecting passersby.

For some people, this is not a problem at all. They might even make statements like, “Uh-oh, somebody’s getting down on some of that loud!” while looking around to see if they can get in on the action. But others are noticeably offended by the bouquet of bud. They wrinkle up their faces and make snide comments to one another about how the whole world has gone to hell in a handbasket: “What on God’s green earth do you think they’re doing to that poor skunk?”

And apparently most people belong to the latter category — the majority of Americans are turned off by the smell of cannabis in the streets. This is the consensus of a recent study from the folks at PSB Research, Civilized, Burson Cohn & Wolfe and BuzzFeed News. They found that more than half of the population (51%) thinks that public displays of the doobie have become a real problem, with some 25% going as far as to say that they actually “hate” getting assaulted by the stench of weed while out on the town.

The Nose Knows

Indeed, as crazy as it might sound, not everyone out there is cool with getting slapped in the face with somebody else’s stoned good times.

In our opinion, it’s a testament to just how miserable the population has become as of late. A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans are some of the most stressed and unhappy folks in the world. Considering there are people in parts of the planet who use a hole in the ground for a toilet and their next meal, if they are lucky, might be a bowl of live cockroaches or a sewer rat, that’s pretty muffed up! Our advice: Get off social media for five minutes, America, and smoke some weed! You will start to feel better about yourselves soon enough.

Although a vast majority of the population is now in favor of marijuana legalization – some are good with it being freed up for medicinal use, others think that prohibition should be dissolved altogether – certain aspects of the cannabis culture just don’t seem to gel with the popular opinion. Perhaps this is the reason residents and county officials come out in droves on the heels of legalization and place bans the cannabis industry from taking shape in their neck of the woods. These people are completely fine with the idea of legalizing an intoxicating plant for those who choose to use it. Hell, they may have even supported the issue at the polls! But they have a tendency to get a little aggro with the concept of the herb popping up too close to their homes.

Presumably, these are the same folks that are now upset over the smell of grass invading their space while they are out shopping or engaging in other boring activities insisted on by fashionable society.

But public pot odors bother some more than others. The smell of cannabis is a “major problem” for 23% of the population, the study finds. Another 28% considers it only a “minor problem.” And interestingly, even in Canada, where marijuana is now legal for recreational use nationwide, marijuana odor is still not welcomed. Nearly 60% of the population in the Great White North are not keen on smelling pot in public.

Give the People What They Want!

So, what is the solution? Maybe it is time for jurisdictions with recreational marijuana laws on the books to get serious about allowing cannabis lounges. As it stands, most of the places where weed is legal only enable people to consume in the privacy of their own homes.

Sure, some select cities are starting to explore the concept of social use, but these situations have a long way to go before they function in a way that appeases the stoned masses.

Not that providing social toking spots is going to remedy the problem entirely — it certainly will not. After all, marijuana is still considered a banned substance across the majority of the United States. Regular cannabis users in those parts of the country are inevitably going to duck out on occasion to get their heads straight. That may be out behind the dumpster of the restaurant where they work, the alley on the way to a bar, or wherever. Stoners are going to get stoned.

We would venture to say that there’s not much that can be done about the problem at this juncture other than pushing the nation into full-blown legalization, creating a scene where marijuana is normal and widely accepted. Only then will public consumption become unnecessary. It could also contribute to a case where the 51% complaining about weed odors now enter the realm of the unbothered.

If we’ve learned one thing from the marijuana movement, it’s that progress on the issue has many faces.

TELL US, how do you feel when you smell cannabis in public?



  1. Kelly

    September 25, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    The smell of marijuana is sickening to some people. Anyone who uses marijuana needs to understand that and respect it. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Kell

    September 25, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Marijuana is legal here in California now, but not everybody here is happy about it. Some of our neighbors smoke it, and it’s impossible to walk outside without getting a whiff of that stinky stuff! The smell makes my Mom sick to her stomach, and while it doesn’t quite make me sick, it”s definitely not pleasing to my nose!

    One day last summer, my Mom and I were shopping at a local Dollar Tree, and I went to the pet care aisle. There was a man there in that same aisle who had definitely been smoking marijuana. He absolutely reeked of the stuff, and the smell was so thick in the air, I could taste it. I nearly gagged! I went back to where my Mom was and whispered to her, “Somebody here has been smoking marijuana. The smell is really strong.” Before long, the smell was all over the store, and we had to leave, because it was sickening! I know that people like my Mom and myself are in the minority when it comes to all things marijuana, but you know what? People need to respect that. Not everybody can handle the stench, and we hate how smoking marijuana can affect people’s judgement. Please respect those around you and understand that some of us, are not fans of marijuana, or anything else like it.

  3. Carol Gibson

    May 6, 2019 at 11:36 am

    so does this mean I can grow it in my house or backyard?

  4. Masked Expounder

    May 4, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    I am actually in the “hate it” crowd. I used to use, but don’t anymore because of mental illness, and the second hand smoke is what bothers me. Not the smell of unburned stuff. Its one of the only drawback I have with weed, or certain drugs is that when smoked, it just goes everywhere. I don’t give a crap about if you want to get high, basically, but thats the main problem. Smoking lounges aren’t gonna help garounteed(sp lol) because people basically smoke wherever they want. I would know, I used to do it, and the first line of this article is very true. Not to say DONT have smoking lounges, but it wont solve the problem. Honestly the solution is within the culture of us the people. If we accept responsibility to not smoke near schools hospitals, in the street where 100 people pass by a minute, it wont be as much of an issue. Just take it inside somewhere, possibly with an air filter. I see it already with the THC vapes. People just say, oh, it doesn’t smell so much , I can get away with it. Now theres People vaping on buses, with thier children, trains ubers, professional sporting events, movies, arcades, restaurants it just goes on and on. The truth is 90+% of people dont care if “you cant smell it” its a moot point because the THC is still going into the air everyone is breathing. As of right now though people dont give a FUCK. The thing with alcohol or something not smoked is, you cant catch a buzz just from being near them. If it reeked like you had a martini right under your nose, but it was some guy drinking down the block across the street, then you can make that comparison. But it just doesn’t

  5. Kathe Hewlett

    May 4, 2019 at 11:47 am

    It doesn’t bother me, however, it is against the law to drink liquor walking down the street so the same should be said for marijuana use…

    • Margaret Hopkins

      May 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm

      That depends on where you are, in New Orleans you can walk down the sidewalk taking your drink to another bar if you want.

  6. Scott Van gorder

    May 4, 2019 at 2:16 am

    Smells way better than cigarette smoke

    • Margaret Hopkins

      May 18, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      Sure does, I always love when I’m out and about and get a wiff.

  7. Teressa Owens

    May 3, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I’m always wishing I was in on the action lol !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Culture

To Top