The Best Way To Address Concerns About The Smell Of Cannabis Is To License Clubs
When people complain about ‘the smell of cannabis’ they are usually talking about the smell that is created by burning cannabis. I suppose that in some instances people are complaining about the smell of actual cannabis plants being cultivated, however, it seems like that is far less prevalent.
The smell of cannabis smoke as a nuisance is being pointed to seemingly more often these days, with a recent high-profile example of that coming via comments made by British politician Keir Starmer, captured in a tweet below:
In his tough on crime speech Sir Keir Starmer says the smell of cannabis wafting through windows of family homes in neighbourhoods is “ruining in lives”
— Noa Hoffman (@hoffman_noa) March 23, 2023
Starmer went on to explain that, “There’s a family in my constituency – every night cannabis smoke creeps in from the street outside into their children’s bedroom – aged four and six. That’s not low level – it’s ruining their lives.”
In response to Starmer’s comments, YouGov conducted a poll asking how many Britons can recognize the smell of cannabis. Below are the poll’s results:
Keir Starmer says the smell of cannabis wafting through windows is “ruining lives” – so how many Britons think they can tell what cannabis smells like?
— YouGov (@YouGov) March 24, 2023
While the YouGov poll may seem a bit silly to some people, the issue of public cannabis use and reported nuisances related to odor and smoke is serious and worthy of a rational discussion. The issue could be directly addressed by governments allowing private cannabis clubs to operate.
Many cannabis consumers and patients consume in public settings because they do not have any other place to do it. If they are travelers, most hotels and other tourist lodging do not allow smoking indoors. The same is true of many residential structures.
But unlike tobacco cigarettes, the consumption of which is accommodated in many public spaces in various ways, cannabis consumers are left to figure out their consumption settings on their own, which typically ends up being sidewalks, alleys, and the sides of buildings.
By affording consumers and patients private settings in which to consume cannabis, such as at clubs or in designated outdoor smoking spaces at other venues, nuisances related to the smell of cannabis and smoke will likely subside. They will never go away entirely, just as the smell and smoke from tobacco consumption have never been 100% eliminated, but there will obviously be a significant reduction.
Furthermore, the spread of the legal cannabis industry will yield many smokeless options for cannabis consumers and patients, and that will help too. Ironically, many of the same people complaining about odors and smoke from cannabis use also seem to oppose the spread of the cannabis industry, and from that standpoint, they are their own worst enemy, which is unfortunate.
If lawmakers truly care about mitigating any nuisances related to cannabis, then they should logically support public policy solutions that directly address their concerns. That obviously includes permitting social cannabis use in some meaningful way.