Are you legally allowed to smoke marijuana in your house or apartment? It’s a question that many Americans are asking because while marijuana use has been legalized in a growing number of states, there are still some grey areas when it comes to actually smoking weed.
So, where do you stand as a renter and what are your options?
Is it Okay to Smoke Weed in an Apartment?
Firstly, marijuana use is illegal at the federal level but it has been legalized in the following states:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
- New York
- New Mexico
Medical marijuana has been legalized in several other states and decriminalized in a few more.
If you reside in a state in which recreational or medical marijuana is illegal, then it’s not okay to smoke it in your apartment. That should go without saying. If smoking weed is perfectly legal in your state, it’s a different story, and that’s where things get a little complicated.
Smoking Weed in your Apartment
Whether or not it’s okay to smoke marijuana in your apartment will ultimately come down to your lease.
Many leases include policies that prohibit smoking and drug use in general. “Illegal drug use” may be specified, and if we’re talking about federal laws, marijuana still falls under that category.
There may also be specific clauses against smoking tobacco and smoking marijuana.
If you have checked your lease and can’t find a no-smoking policy, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. If your habits become a problem for your neighbors, those neighbors can complain and you may be warned or evicted.
In such cases, you can still smoke in your apartment, you just have to make sure your neighbors don’t smell it.
Can I Smoke Weed on an Apartment Balcony?
If there is nothing in the lease to prevent you from smoking on the balcony, and if the weed smoke doesn’t bother your neighbors, it should be fine.
Check with local laws first though, and make sure you know your lease. Also, if any of your neighbors complain, and you’re worried they will take those complaints to the landlord, look for an alternative option.
Is it Illegal to Smoke Weed in a Rented House?
If you live in a detached house, you’re less likely to encounter issues with neighbors. There’s a good chance that the lease will forbid smoking and drug use, but you can just do it in the yard.
Of course, unless your landlord makes regular visits to the home, they won’t know if you are smoking inside the house or not. However, if you do it every day for a long time, the smell will linger and the smoke will leave its mark, usually in the form of discoloration on the ceiling.
Can Smoke Smell Go Through Walls?
Smoke can go through walls and doors. It seeps into porous material like water and can also find cracks and gaps. You might think that your door is pretty solid, but there’s almost certainly a crack underneath, and smoke can slip under there. As for your walls, it can get through cracks, but if we’re talking about solid apartment walls, it’s unlikely.
Smoke acts like water in that it looks for the easiest and quickest route. Trying to seep through a solid wall is definitely not easy or quick.
How to Prevent Weed Smells in Your House and Apartment
Whether you regularly smoke medical marijuana or enjoy occasional recreational sessions with friends, there are a few ways that you can keep the smells to a minimum.
Check the Lease
Check your lease for a no-smoking policy. If your apartment doesn’t strictly prohibit smoking, life just got a whole lot easier for you.
It doesn’t mean that you can start ripping bongs in the hallway, though. You still need to be considerate of your neighbors, and that doesn’t mean inviting them to join you (although that could work as well).
Vape or Eat
Marijuana smoke is the problem. Not marijuana itself. The best way to negate the issue, therefore, is to get your fix through edibles or smoke-free vapes.
Many recreational marijuana users prefer the old-school methods, and that’s understandable. But you’ll still be consuming the THC. You’ll still get the effects, and you’ll have the added bonus of not angering your neighbors or landlord.
Turn on the Fans and Open the Windows
The kitchen is usually a good place to smoke as you can turn on the fan and open the window. It’s a double-whammy that shouldn’t alert other tenants and will prevent the smoke from lingering.
You can try the same thing in the bathroom, using the fan to catch most of the smoke and the window for the rest. However, that means you’ll be smoking joints on the toilet or inviting friends to join you for a bong in the bath.
It doesn’t make for a pleasant experience.
Try Air Fresheners
Many cannabis smokers use a product known as Ozium, which you can find on Amazon. It’s an air freshener and sanitizer that is very effective for removing cannabis smells. It won’t eradicate the smoke entirely, though, and you’ll need an open window or two to help you out.