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Washington Post article wonders why people are smoking weed in city where it’s legal

A new article in The Washington Post titled, “It’s summer, and Washington smells like weed. Everywhere, all the time” chronicles what happens in the nation’s capital when weed is legalized.

The article is a kind of hilarious look at how citizens of Washington D.C. have responded to the constant, lingering smell of pot in the air.

One character in the article, Arash Shirazi, a music agent and filmmaker, who, “hangs out with creative types and bohemians” (eye roll) notes that that smell follows him everywhere, even to the upscale neighborhoods in the District (the horror).

Shirazi notes incredulously to the article’s author Maia Silber that he caught a whiff of bud even in the Georgetown neighborhood!

“Of course he’d smelled marijuana before. But this was a weekday afternoon — in Georgetown!”

There feels like a sort of generational gap in these weed articles, the likes of which we’ve seen from the New York Post, especially when Silber calls upon a man named Joe Tierney (blogger at Gentleman Toker) to, “Navigate this District of Cannabis.”

While Silber acknowledges that most D.C. residents are perfectly chill with legal weed, “Theoretically, we should all be much more blase about this — nearly 70 percent of D.C. residents voted for legalization,” the article seeks some sort of profound answer as to why it smells like weed everywhere, “Yet the city’s sharp new fragrance remains a curiosity. Who’s that smoking? Where’s that coming from?

So Silber enlists Joe Tierney to further “understand” the D.C. weed scene, as if there’s some deep anthropological reason for people smoking weed in a place in which it is now legal.

Silber has Tierney break down the different areas of the city where she has smelled weed (everywhere) and asked the trusty ‘Gentleman Toker’ why people are smoking there.

Look at Tierney’s answers.

“In the downtown office corridors? That’s a sweet spot, actually — not enough of a nightlife scene to attract police presence, but not too touristy either. A toker can easily fly under the radar.”


Outside the FBI building? Hardcore activists, sticking it to the man. Tierney has seen the boasts on social media.

Smoking weed outside the FBI building as a ‘way to stick it to the man’? I’m not so sure that blazing is really such a point of protest anymore. It’s not 1968.

“And in the no-smoking confines of a discount department store? Probably just a fellow shopper who recently hotboxed, i.e., lit up in an enclosed space. The stuff can really stick to your clothes.”

So the reason Silber smelled weed in a department store is because… someone smoked there! Got it.

“Really, Tierney says, there’s almost nowhere you won’t smell it. One tip: If you smell it once, expect to smell it again. ‘Cannabis enthusiasts are creatures of habit,’ he explains.”

These ‘answers’ seem way overly complicated. Then again, sounds about right coming from the Gentleman Toker, who clearly takes this plant far too seriously.

I honestly appreciate the earnest attempts to try to understand why people are smoking weed here but I’d posit it has something to do with the fact that weed is pretty fun and it is legal in that place in question.

It’s not that deep, folks!