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.


Oregon Marijuana Legalization 2015: Weed Smell Could Trigger $500 Fine In Pendleton

OREGON:  Come July 1, it will be legal to possess and use marijuana recreationally in Oregon. But in the eastern town of Pendleton, recreational marijuana smokers might not want to hit the bong too hard once legalization hits.

The municipal authorities have labeled the smell of marijuana a nuisance and plan to fine residents should the scent travel to a neighbor’s property, KNDO of Yakima, Washington, reported Wednesday. Pendleton reworked its nuisance ordinance — which deals with problems like loud music or barking dogs — to include marijuana smell, the station reported. The resulting fine could cost marijuana smokers up to $500.

The ordinance change is intended to prevent marijuana growers from causing overwhelming scents for neighbors, but police could also enforce the rule on homeowners, according to KNDO. “It gives us some tools to be able to force people to figure out a different way to legally process their marijuana,” said Pendleton City Manager Robb Corbett. A local citizen reportedly told the city council that a medical marijuana grower had left a scent on his property.