Study Shows Most People Don't Care if You're Vaping Weed in Public

Vaping weed in public isn't legal, but there some private events and lounges that allow it.
Vaping weed in public isn't legal, but there some private events and lounges that allow it. Jacqueline Collins
We've called hash vaporizers the brown paper bags of toking in the past, but a new study shows that hash pens aren't fooling anyone: People just don't care. According to a survey of over 1,000 adults, vaporizing cannabis in public isn't that big of a deal to most.

Sober living website asked over 1,000 adults ranging in age from eighteen to 78 for their opinions about vaping weed in public, and their responses should make you feel better next time you're plugging away at that hash pen while waiting for an Uber.

Around 94 percent of cannabis users said they wouldn't care if they noticed someone vaping in public, according o the study, while 76 percent of non-users said they felt the same. And even if the respondents didn't like seeing you puff those skunky clouds, they would be unlikely to narc: Just 4 percent of users and 16 percent of non-users said they would report someone vaping weed in public to authorities.

It's important to note that public cannabis consumption is illegal in every state in the country, including Colorado, but finding a lounge where you can consume the plant socially — and, most important, legally — is a high challenge. A bill that would have set up a state licensing system for dispensary tasting rooms passed the Colorado General Assembly but was vetoed by Governor John Hickenlooper. Meanwhile, Denver's city licensing program has seen just three applications so far, with one approval, one denial and another pending.

In part because of a lack of places outside of private homes where they can toke up, many users end up smoking weed or vaping hash on the street. The latter option has become quite popular since retail dispensaries opened in 2014, thanks to its more discreet odor and similar appearance to e-cigarettes.

The survey found that people usually witness others vaping weed in expected areas, such as parks, on the street or outside of a bar or restaurant. But even while most people don't care about vaping in public, over a third of the respondents said that doing so in those areas was unacceptable. Consumption settings with the highest rates of disapproval were inside a restaurant, in a bathroom at work or on public transportation.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell