Claims That Marijuana Smell Offensive Go Up In Smoke, Odor Ruled Nicer Than Garbage

OREGON:  The smell of marijuana is not inherently offensive, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday. The court tossed out charges against a man who was convicted of crimes after an officer inspected his home when smelling the drug.

Comparing the smell of marijuana to perfume or pungent spices, the three-judge panel stated that pot could reasonably be considered offensive if its odor remains “very intense and persistent,” but that otherwise it doesn’t clear the threshold to become “physically offensive.”

“We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage,” the ruling said. “Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing.” 

Whether or not the smell of burning marijuana is “physically offensive” is particularly important in this case, since it revolved around the arrest of Jared William Lang, who was arrested in November 2012 after an officer acquired a search warrant for an individual potentially creating a “physically offensive” smell, a charge that is categorized as second-degree disorderly conduct.