By Patrik Jonsson for The Christian Science Monitor. Atlanta — That tinge of strange smoke once smelled mostly in the high seats at rock shows has become commonplace in parts of America where voters have legalized marijuana.
A Washington Post survey found that in some city wards nearly 70 percent of people smell marijuana smoke at least once a month during their perambulations and 1 in 3 people smell it every day, just a year after the city legalized it for recreational use and personal possession, though not sales. “People aren’t as discreet as they were before it was legal,” a 21-year-old D.C. resident named Wuan Smith told the Post.
Indeed, America’s growing experiment with legalized recreational pot has literally changed the atmosphere around a drug that has for decades been one of the top reasons for arrests in the US.
With pot out of the shadows in some states, the direct exposure to smoke has led to conflicts. Colorado, which in 2012 was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, has seen odor complaints rise, with 30 percent of such complaints now regarding pot in Denver.