Marijuana Manners: Be a Good Neighbor by Keeping Pot Smells Inside Your Apartment

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Oh, city life!

The Daily News' Ask an Expert column today has a not-too-uncommon conundrum -- sober neighbors who live next to stoner neighbors and complain about them.

An Upper West Side woman wrote in for advice on this very issue, since she can smell pot smoke in her apartment. She's trying to get pregnant, and worries about a "contact high." The woman and her husband, worried about coming across as "complete squares" want to know: "Should we narc?"

You can read the column for that answer, but we're more interested in another important question: How do you smoke pot politely in the City's close quarters?

Since smell seems to be one of the biggest issues for this otherwise private activity -- which we are neither condoning or condemning, simply commenting on -- we have assembled a brief guide to scent prevention.

And remember, always toke responsibly!

Keep It Glassy

The community of cannabis commentators seems to think glass is better than plastic bags or pill bottles at sealing in scents.

Make Like MacGyver

Sticking a towel under a door -- or even going so far as to put tape around the threshold -- isn't just for college dorm rooms. It's great for condos and coops, too! And don't forget the dryer sheet trick. As per the ever-reliable World Wide Web: "Take a paper towel tube, cover the end with a couple dyer sheets and use a rubber band to hold them on there. When you smoke exhale all your smoke through the tube and when the smoke comes out the other end it will smell like fresh laundry. "

Vaporize That Shit

Also from Pot-heads.com (hey, it's an appropriate source) is a key point in the vaporize v. smoke debate. If you heat weed out of a vaporizer, there is little smell because the buds don't burn -- as happens with smoking. Similarly, joints tend to be stinkier than pipes with lids.

Ventilate That Shit, Too!

This sounds obvious, but you might not remember if you're high, so we will remind you! One of the best ways to disperse odors is by opening windows and turning on fans to direct them outside.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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12 comments
zinniaacerosa
zinniaacerosa

I've lived in rentals for most of the last 30 years in AZ and TX and never smelled pot, even though I know my neighbors used it, especially in Tucson.  Cigarette smokers, on the other hand, make absolutely no effort to keep their poison to themselves.  Thanks for the dryer sheet idea -- I'm going to try putting them over my AC vents.  Maybe then I won't have to smell my new cigarette-smoker neighbors in our supposedly non-smoking duplex,

David Mowers
David Mowers

I had a friend in college who lived in an apartment complex with mostly college students and had three bedrooms with three roommates. One weekend he decided to have some friends over and they were smoking pot in his bedroom when a knock came at the door. You see, for the last four months the apartment's management had been getting complaints about marijuana smell coming from his unit and this Friday night the police were called. Because they could smell the pot smoke coming from his window the didn't need a warrant. He lost his apartment, the cops reported his felony arrest (they collected marijuana from all 3 bedrooms/roommates and charged him) to the college, who then expelled him as he was on a scholarship. Marijuana is illegal if you cannot accept that you to will find yourself dealing with situations like the one I just described. That event ruined my friend's life as he planned on working in State government.

Bong_jamesbong2001
Bong_jamesbong2001

Aside from the bad advice from the title, this topic is actually a good one, and one worth considering strongly.

One wouldn't want to CONTAIN the odor of contraband cannabis, the reason being that one never knows who will drop by unexpectedly, from your scolding mother-in-law to some cop who gets the wrong address. The idea is to GET RID OF INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE: it's something one should definitely not share with the neighbors.

Unless you have some kind of World Heritage Herb, whether you have plastic or glass containers shouldn't matter much, except if you're storing pounds or kilos. At any rate, a lot of us know that a nice cold ice box or even a freezer is the best place for your stash. The cold preserves the strength of your herb, and keeps odors (as such) contained. Make sure your stash stays dry, though.

As for toking in an apartment, these stupid statements about duct tape and towels should be totally ignored. You need to ventilate, and at as high a speed as possible, and as far OUTWARDS as possible. If it is just pushed out your window and into the windows of the people next door, you lose! Windier days are best. Forget joints and blunts, for they just constitute air pollution in these circumstances, being as smellable as a pig farm. My suggestion is a one hitter, with nothing burning after you have completely inhaled it, and what you exhale going staight into the nearby ventilation fan at the window, headed outside. Outside conditions will play an important role in how you deal with this; a -10°F. situation outside means you will not be able to have your windows wide open with the fan constantly running.....but that would also apply to your snitchbitch neighbors. Remember that warm air flows towards the cold, and if your apartment is heated and the hall is cooler, your tokinated house atmosphere will be shared with the rest of the floor the first time you open the door. Remember BONG'S FIRST RULE OF JAIL AVOIDANCE--- NEVER CALL ATTENTION TO YOURSELF! The less suspicions your neighbors have, the less the police have.

The dryer sheets idea is something I have heard about, but haven't tried. Perhaps others who have may wish to comment on this. I don't know if it is effective or not, but it would not be effective if a joint or blunt, or even a bong or pipe is used.

Vaporizing sounds like a fine idea. But vaporizers are not cheap. Still, they are cheaper than an involuntary trip downtown in an official vehicle. They are also something I have not tried, and others would find a welcome reader in me on this topic.

Surprisingly, this article fails to mention incense as a cover odor for cannabis, a favorite bit out of the good old 1960's. The incense should be burning near the door (where the cannabis should NEVER be), and don't forget to burn some even after the last herb is toked. Whoever should come to visit should not be greeted by the obvious scent of cannabis. Excuses can be made for burning incense in the house, like, for instance, the incineration of the previous meal on the stove. Odiferous foods also might provide a good cover odor for contraband. At any rate, the exhaust fan for your stove is another great area to do your toking, especially on colder days. Just make sure all the smoke goes up the exhaust fan, and not in the rest of your apartment or especially out the door and into the hall.

Much of my experience in this topic comes from living in an military barracks where one could expect unwelcome visitations at almost any moment. Once this did happen, and only my instinctive placing our stash and stash tray under some clothing before this visit prevented our entire barracks room from being busted. Odor was present, but this was long ago, and the visitor had a strong suspicion, but not the training to bust the lot of us. So it is a good idea in an apartment to keep all incriminating evidence out of sight (and out of mind) except when actually being in active use. Keep your INCRIMINATORY EVIDENCE in a place where it can quickly and quietly be put out, and out of sight.

In high-density living situations in heavily urban areas, situations in one's living environment can change extremely rapidly without giving one any warning or place to run. Such places, such as government run housing situations and dormitories, require an extremely high level of security thinking, preparation, and vigilance. One should try to select one's apartment to be in less trafficked areas (away from elevators, heavily-used corridors, and common entrances), and especially favoring the ends of hallways and the upper stories of high rises with views out that hopefully are not exposed to views from outside or other, facing windows at the same level or higher. Such housing complexes are often inspected by inspectors which report cannabis to prohibitionist pukes and cops. I would think that such inspections would occur during working hours, and one may not even be home when they occur. So one's place has to be suspicionless-appearing when you are not there. Find out the policies regarding any such inspections, and take the appropriate precautions. It will mean the difference between having a home or a homeless shelter, or jail.

If you know other stoners in your building, it would be a good idea to cooperate with each other, and form some kind of watch system to give warning when the pukes are in the house. An underground "Stoner's Council" might also be a good idea, to share experiences and ideas.

Zzardozz
Zzardozz

Vaporizers and edibles are the answer to this problem. 

guest
guest

Use a vaporizer for a less harsh of a smell, that does not stick around as long.

The Witty Biddy
The Witty Biddy

I've been sober for 4 and 1/2 years, and one of the highlights of my day is opening the door to my building and being greeted by the smell of my dealer neighbor's weed smoke. Not so cool? Him buzzing people in 25 times a night.

Rick Shaw
Rick Shaw

"Contact high".....seriously?Trust me, you're complete squares.I like how the original article doesnt suggest the easiest fix:Politely knock on your neighbor's door, and explain to them that the smell is wafting into your house, and could they try to go to another room or put a towel down. It seems sketchy, but in all honesty I think it's polite. And I for one would respect it.

Joe
Joe

 Holy shit brah, you need to put down the one hitter and get some other shit goin on......

neosunshineann
neosunshineann

@Rick Shaw Not my neighbor. He manages to make half of my apartment reek when he gets going. I'm 3rd floor, he's 2nd. He HATES cats (his words) I have 3, so no request I make will be respected, just used against me. Early on, I mentioned his heavy use of incense, he admitted to "sometimes" lighting up. Believe me, whatever it is, it is harsh and no amount of incense will mask it. And, no, he never opens his windows while smoking/whatever. Wish I had someone like you for a neighbor.

Victoriabekiempis
Victoriabekiempis

Hey Rick,

The woman said she was afraid of a "contact high," I was just quoting her. 

Thanks,

Vic

JimJOnes
JimJOnes

Think he was busting on the 'square' woman, not you.

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