It’s summer in a state that legalized recreational cannabis, which means you’ve almost certainly caught a whiff of that pungent herb out in public.
However, not all folks appreciate smelling that skunky goodness. And besides, public use of cannabis is still a civil infraction punishable by a $100 fine. The rules in the books state that cannabis can only be consumed inside a private residence. It's not legal!
There. Now that that's out of the way, here are our favorite spots around to spark up around Portland, as well as some best practices in doing so.
Follow the rules for tobacco
The general rule of thumb with smoking pot in public is to only smoke where cigarette smoking is allowed. Don’t smoke in parks, outside stores and restaurants. Definitely don't around schools. Police officers are already adept at sniffing out tobacco smoke in these places — you think they won’t notice your strange clouds?
Designated spots outside bars like Ruski’s, Geno’s, Bull Feeney’s, Novare Res, and Bubba’s are almost always a safe place for cannabis puffin’, because they blend well with the groups of smokers already stinking up the place.
Don’t get flashy
Almost everyone who smokes in public is using the classic joint. That’s 'cuz there’s no easier way to call attention to yourself than trying to cash a dirty bowl on a city bench. Try it, you’ll certainly meet unwanted attention. Smoke with joints instead. They’re easy to discard and look like a cigarette from afar. If you’re terrible at rolling, we recommend you buy a “ceramic cigarette” for $5 at Higher Concept on Congress. Also known as “dugouts,” these little guys are easy to pack and incredibly inconspicuous.
Best spot to smoke one? We like to venture out on the Ocean Gateway pier or the green space beneath Casco Bay Bridge. They’re ideal, low-key spots for staring out at the ocean and thinking high thoughts about life. They’re also typically devoid of cops, cameras, and children, which is a top priority.
It’s part of the social contract of living in the city to accept that you’re going to be subjected to smells you don’t like. Live and let live, y'know? But as much as we love cannabis, seldom do we appreciate an unexpected cloud of it. You’re probably going to smoke while walking down the street anyway, but don’t be a dick about it. Hold your hit inside your lungs until you’re sure you can expel it far from someone’s face. And try not to cough obnoxiously. Situational awareness is key.
And if you want to smoke outside your apartment building or on your porch (and you have weed hatin’ neighbors or landlords), you’ll be surprised how well the ol’ dryer-sheets-inside-a-toilet-paper-roll method works. Blowing out your smoke through this time-tested contraption does wonders to minimize that sweet stank.
Smokin’ cannabis is great and all, but it’s still quite unhealthy to fill your lungs with combusted plant matter. As we age, we’re quite content with edibles these days. Besides, with at least a dozen local companies willing to “gift” you edibles, it’s super easy to get high-quality cookies, brownies, and gummies delivered right to your door.
Consuming cannabis edibles instead of smoke negates the need for practically every piece of advice on this list. It’s simple, discreet, and, from outside appearances, a completely casual experience. We just recommend that you familiarize yourself with the sometimes-intense effects edibles can bring before munching in public. Eating a brownie in Monument Square looks normal, but alarming passersby that you can’t move your legs because you fear they’ve turned into strips of bacon, that does not.