Oregon Court of Appeals Doesn’t Find the Smell of Cannabis Smoke to Be “Unpleasant”

Published on August 24, 2015 · Last updated July 28, 2020

Earlier this summer, I wrote a Weekend Weirdness post about how the city of Pendleton, Oregon wanted to fine its residents up to $500 for any offensive cannabis smells that float over from their property onto someone else’s. The issue prompted a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor of the East Oregonian calling for the city to also fine smelly farts. Instead, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided that the odor of burning cannabis does not actually smell that unpleasant, after all.

Last Wednesday the appeals court issued a ruling on the matter, disagreeing with some folks’ assertion that the smell of cannabis is equal to that of stinky garbage:

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

The ruling stemmed from the conviction of a Philomath man who was hit with second-degree criminal mischief after his home was searched in 2012 because of the strong cannabis odors emanating from it. Police found evidence of grafitti crimes he had committed but the convictions were thrown out after the man appealed and said the “offensive” cannabis odor wasn’t a sufficient reason for the police to search his home.

More gems from the court ruling include the following:

“(A)n odor that is very intense and persistent could reasonably be regarded as offensive even if it ordinarily might be considered pleasant — perfume, for example, or pungent spices. Who determines whether a particular odor is offensive? Although some odors are objectively unpleasant — rotten eggs or raw sewage come to mind — others are more subjective in nature.”

Indeed, to many of us cannabis smells like a lovely perfume while that pungent eau de toilette our coworker drenches herself in makes us blink back tears. What’s your favorite-smelling cannabis strain?

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Rebecca Kelley
Rebecca Kelley
Rebecca is the Content Director at Leafly, where she oversees Leafly News production and other content projects.
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