Long summer weekends are often slow for news outlets. Businesses are shut down, the government grinds to a halt and people jet out of town. There’s just not a whole hell of a lot to report. This Independence Day holiday weekend was no different. Two of the largest, most esteemed metropolitan newspapers — the Washington Post and the Boston Globe — both featured long stories about the the cities stinking like weed. “It’s summer, and Washington smells like weed. Everywhere, all the time” screamed the headline in Monday’s edition of the Post. Not to be outdone, on Tuesday, the Globe followed with “What’s that smell in the air? In Boston, marijuana.”
In the Post, Maia Silbe, a writer in the Style section, takes her readers on a little tour of the scents of our nation’s capital:
And now that it’s summer, the humidity keeping all scents close, it’s ever more obvious: Washington is smoking more weed than you ever realized.
Stephen Sears, an academic librarian who lives on Capitol Hill, calls it “ghost weed syndrome” — that lingering sense of a scent, unmistakable but often untraceable.
Theoretically, we should all be much more blase about this — nearly 70 percent of D.C. residents voted for legalization. And yet the city’s sharp new fragrance remains a curiosity. Who’s that smoking? Where’s that coming from?
“You have to wonder if these older Capitol Hill denizens have been smoking this whole time,” Sears muses.
And in the Globe, Style writer Beth Teitell also shares stories about the new Beantown scent:
Cannabis, it appears, could also be becoming a member of Greater Boston’s roster of iconic smells, each these nonetheless with us (sausages scorching exterior of Fenway Park, Lynn seaside at low tide, the bizarre smell emanating from the Downtown Crossing T entrance) and these that stay on in olfactory reminiscence (the Baker Chocolate manufacturing unit in Lower Mills, Buzzy’s Roast Beef after the bars closed).
Weed has lengthy been a part of Greater Boston’s bouquet, in fact — the poster scent for Allston or Harvard Square or Boston Common. But in these areas you anticipate it. These days, the smell usually catches you abruptly — on the Minuteman Bikeway at eight:30 a.m. on a Sunday? Really? — and transports you.
Of course, smoking cannabis in public is forbidden and the odor certainly can offend some citizens. If your state has legalized cannabis consumption, it doesn’t mean you can spark one up on a street in the middle of town. Or a park. Or a beach.
Related Story: Will Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke Get Me High?
Etiquette Rules For Consuming In Public Spaces:
- Be respectful of others. Remember, YOU are the one committing the illegal act. Walk away from crowds. Be mindful of which way the wind is blowing. Many parents with young children would rather not explain the skunky smell.
- Be discreet. There is no real reason to brazenly flaunt the law. Police officers don’t appreciate it and neither do bystanders.
- Be generous. If an adult drops by your smoke circle, share if you have enough to go around. Don’t offer without being approached. Don’t share with someone underage. And don’t cause a scene.
- Be responsible. Don’t over do it. You give other cannabis consumers a bad name.
- Try vaping: Using a vape pen or portable vaporizer does not emit smoke. Vapor is not as strong as combustible smoke, but it does give off a slight smell.
- Try edibles: Eating cannabis has a much different effect on your brain, so this is for those of you who are familiar with edibles. A little taste goes a long way and nobody will be the wiser.