Your scene is shitty, man
September 7, 2012 10:10 PM   Subscribe

My asshole neighbors' pot smoke is seeping into our apartment through every crack and vent. Help.

These are converted warehouses. The walls are thin and there are common vents all over the place. They've been doing this all hours of the day and night since we moved in. My S.O. has a three year old daughter who lives here some of the time; I have a three year old that I would like to bring to visit, but there's no way in hell I'd do it right now. To top it all off, I'm coming off a double ear infection and my S.O. has the flu. I've got zero tolerance for this nonsense anyway, but now more so.

Our bathrooms and closets reek of this garbage, as do our clothes. It's hard to even sleep. I feel totally violated and angry about this.

So, if I call the cops what happens? Can I get them evicted? In the ten days we've been here, I've seen enough non-tenants making three minute visits to their apartment to believe they're selling, too. I know evictions take time. I just want immediate relief. I've thought of calling or emailing the management, but my mistrust of landlords (and my assumption that they'd just smooth it over, or worse, tell them it was me that complained) keep me from doing that.

If you knew how hard it was to find a place and move you would know why I feel so strongly. Thanks as always MeFi.
posted by littlerobothead to Human Relations (79 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Call the cops. They'll watch the place for a while and then bust 'em. They did it to a house on my street that had 3 minute visitors.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:19 PM on September 7, 2012 [10 favorites]

Have you tried talking to your neighbors about it? I would try that first before working on evicting them. Maybe they are reasonable people who might be understanding about blocking the vents to help with the problem? (I'm a small town girl so this may be naive)
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:21 PM on September 7, 2012 [11 favorites]

Call the cops. If they don't have the decency to even try to hide it, screw them. If they were being remotely discreet I would say to just have a conversation with them, but I'm betting they wouldn't give a shit.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:23 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

DoubleLune, I think you're right on the money. They don't give a shit about me even though they've seen me in the hall going into my place with my S.O.'s daughter.

My only next question is do I use the emergency or non-emergency line?
posted by littlerobothead at 10:26 PM on September 7, 2012

Blocking the vents won't work, quite frankly neither would sealing up your entire place. I've lived with second hand pot smoke for almost 2 years and have never found a successful way to keep it out of our apartment.

I'd say call the cops, and take advantage of the fact that they seem to be dealing. My neighbours are mass consumers, leaving us with the same problem but little action we can take (the police here aren't going to bother with consumers) other than moving. We'll be doing that soon.
posted by scrute at 10:27 PM on September 7, 2012

Talking to people who are breaking the law about maybe not breaking the law?

Yeah, not recommended. I don't care if it's innocuous like pot. You have no idea that's all they're selling.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:30 PM on September 7, 2012 [22 favorites]

Use the non-emergency line in this sort of instance. The problem needs to get resolved, but it's not truly that urgent. Yet, if you care to call the non emergency line right now then that should be fine. If the dispatchers think this is more of an emergency call rather than non-emerge then they will be able to assist you and possibly reroute you to a different line if necessary.
posted by livinglearning at 10:35 PM on September 7, 2012

Wait! Wait! You are in danger!!

I just remembered that last year a person was gunned down inside their apartment in a nice neighborhood because the victim was dealing and the perp(s) robbed them of their drug money. This was across the street from my friend's home.

Forget what I was going to say about how ridiculous laws against pot are. You are potentially in A LOT of danger living next door to this.

- Skip the landlord and call the police.

Better yet, go directly to the station tomorrow and have a meeting with someone higher up the food chain than the desk sargeant.

- Skip the landlord. Never complain to your neighbors directly. They are dealers. They are putting you directly in danger.


You will be kept anonymous if you request it. You may also call anonymously, but I don't know how effective that might be. You want action right away, not get your tip buried on a list.
posted by jbenben at 10:36 PM on September 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

The pot smoking wouldn't worry me, but the dealing on the side would (drug deal gone bad, etc). I doubt you are neighbors with a Walter White type of character, but even so I would probably just skip trying to talk to your neighbors and just talk to the landlord instead. If the landlord doesn't do something then, yeah, I would talk to the cops.
posted by littlesq at 11:00 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd call the cops. We had a similar situation (Downstairs apt. had a victim of terrible DV and probably drug use) and we moved after only 3 days. We were honestly too scared to call the police because it was only us and one other tenant in the place, it was a fourplex and one of the units was empty. But if it was a multiple unit place, you can bet we would have saved the $500 on another move and just had them arrested. Also speaking to the landlord and informing them might help. In our case, our landlord was SUPER concerned and offered information about her process of trying to evict them (which was none of our business but we totally appreciated it). In the end, we couldn't deal with the sleepless nights, loud video games at 3am and 24 by 7 screaming fights. I'm sorry to see you are dealing with comments from others who are dismissive of your experience and your family. I agree with legalizing marijuana, but I certainly wouldn't want it wafting through my house. And I would agree with approaching the neighbors first, with the caveat that I was sure that they were just recreational users and not dealing. There's a difference. You have every right to be pissed. You shouldn't have to compromise on health risks of secondhand smoke (asthma, anyone?!) or the constant stress of living near people who are clearly dealing drugs. Regardless of whether people agree or disagree with pot laws, you absolutely have the right to do what's right for you and your children. If you can't afford to move, I'd call the police. Anonymously, that is.
posted by luciddream928 at 11:03 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

>my mistrust of landlords<>
really? You don't trust your landlord after only ten days? Weird.

But you want the cops to come in and give you "immediate relief?" No offense, but you are coming across as a bit histrionic.

Just tell them you can smell it and ask if they can smoke outside/elsewhere. It is likely to be younger people just getting high. I smoked a lot in my first apartment. If my neighbor had knocked on the door and politely told me to knock it off, I would have out of respect (and fear).
posted by archivist at 11:03 PM on September 7, 2012 [45 favorites]

Non emergency line unless they threaten or try to hurt you, you hear or see someone being hurt or witness damage to property.
posted by brujita at 11:08 PM on September 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you call the cops, use the non-emergency line.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:18 PM on September 7, 2012

- Skip the landlord. Never complain to your neighbors directly.

This exactly. Talk to the cops and nobody else. If there's a local precinct house you can visit go there and speak with someone in person. Your neighborhood cops are generally more invested in the health of their patrol area and you'll avoid a lot of run around.

A few words in the right ears will put and end to this situation.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:19 PM on September 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

What do they look like? Are they young kids? When I was in my 20s my friends and I smoked our body weight in weed every week in our tiny apartment. If a neighbor had come over and complained that they were smelling our skunk, I would have been utterly mortified, I would have apologized profusely, and our neighbors would have never smelled our smoke again.
posted by Crotalus at 11:27 PM on September 7, 2012 [35 favorites]

I once lived in an apartment above the world's worst drug dealer. Stupid, stupid kid. One time, a woman in the adjacent building got into a physical fight with the dealer's mother over a drug deal gone bad. The cops came, and they told the mother that she could press charges for assault, but they would need to search the apartment and did she really want that? So I guess it depends where you are, but in my case, the cops were entirely uninterested about busting a small time pot dealer. So I would try the building manager first, but YMMV, of course.
posted by Ruki at 11:29 PM on September 7, 2012

If you go to the cops before talking to them, you're being the asshole here. At least raise the issue with them politely first and see if you can work something out; they may have no idea that their smoke is penetrating into other apartments. How would they know?
posted by Spacelegoman at 12:09 AM on September 8, 2012 [23 favorites]

Please try speaking with them before you call the cops. That's the reasonable thing to do. They may seem like assholes to you right now, but they aren't assholes until they've proven that they don't care about your concerns.
posted by Kloryne at 12:24 AM on September 8, 2012 [18 favorites]

Maybe try a polite anonymous note under the door if you're scared of retribution. At least give them a chance to rectify it.
posted by Jubey at 12:24 AM on September 8, 2012 [14 favorites]

nthing just talk to them. The likely worst case scenario is that they'll ignore you and carry on as usual, but more likely they'll be decent human beings and apologize and do what they can to mitigate it. I mean, that's what literally everyone I've ever known on either side of this equation has had happen, and seems to be pretty typical to me.

Also, possibly try to lose some of the anger and judginess? They're not throwing loud parties or harassing you or anything, they're smoking in the privacy of their own home and likely have no idea at all that it's bothering you. It's not their fault that you're ill. Hop off the high horse and treat them like the perfectly normal people that they probably are, and you'll almost certainly have better luck regardless of the path you take with this.
posted by MeghanC at 12:26 AM on September 8, 2012 [41 favorites]

Well, problem is that if he does talk to the neighbors, and they blow off his concerns, and he is then forced to bring in the law, the neighbors now have absolutely no doubt where their problems came from.

On the other hand, we live in a psycho-fascist state when it comes to drugs, this stupid "war on drugs" -- these people are (maybe) lazed out potheads, going along, smiling their way through life, I'd hate to see you lower the boom on someone like that. Cuz the cops arent going to just show up and be all palsy-walsy, not gonna be a friendly uncle sort of thing, they'll kick in doors and throw people on the ground and put them in jail and maybe prison -- a horror show.

So. I know it feels that you have to address this immediately, like right here right now, but fact is that you don't need to do that. So you've got time, once you get it that there's no need to hurry here, you can be patient and let the right answer present itself to you.

A professional wedding photographer takes hundreds and hundreds of pictures, knowing that this one is going to have someone squinting, this other one the lighting is going to be wrong, on and on. So he takes a zillion billion trillion shots, and out of all of those he'll find the right photos, which, after some cropping and color enrichment end up being great photographs.

Do that same thing, consider this situation from a number of different perspectives, get it on paper, pay attn to what you''re feeling as you walk the scenarios involved here. Take a lot of photos IE consider a lot of different ideas, you'll know the right one .

You're going to do this perfectly right.

Have fun!
posted by dancestoblue at 12:31 AM on September 8, 2012 [10 favorites]

I have written previously on this site regarding the wisdom of speaking with suspected drug dealers. Don't you ever do it.

It will likely be insufficient to call any of the public-facing dispatch or desk lines. For best results, you will need to find out the identity the detectives in your city's Narc office. Speak directly with a detective and let him know your observations in re stink and visitors. If you find that route unhelpful go to your city council person, county commissioner, or state legislator and ask for his/her assistance.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 1:08 AM on September 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

The OP's presumption that the neighbors are dealing seems a little tenuous to me. Moreover, if they are slinging a little weed, they're far more likely to be like James Franco in Pineapple Express than Al Pacino in Scarface. I simply can't imagine that ANYONE wouldn't rectify the situation if a neighbor politely pointed out that the smell of burning pot is permeating their apartment. Leave an anonymous note if you like, but I doubt it will be fruitful to talk to a narcotics detective, since that detective is probably spending her time hunting actual, dangerous drug traffickers. The city council, county commissioner or state legislator is likely to be even less interested, and will simply tell you to call the cops.

Approaching the neighbor (anonymously or otherwise) is the least dramatic and probably the most effective way to fix the situation.
posted by Crotalus at 1:22 AM on September 8, 2012 [10 favorites]

Have you even met your neighbors yet?

Having that kind of fumigation is plainly unacceptable, but if these are just clueless kids I think you have an obligation to give them a chance to make it right without ruining their lives.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:39 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

[A few comments deleted. Please stick to answering the question in a helpful way, and avoid general chat about the topic or debating other answers. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 2:07 AM on September 8, 2012

I had a somewhat similar experience, but different. Long story short, absolutely do not say anything to your neighbor, or the landlord, and call the cops on the non-emergency line, go to the station to fill out anonymous complaints. I'm sure the landlord must know already if the smell is that bad and they clearly don't care enough to do anything about it. Both the landlord and the potheads could really make your life misery and once the ball gets rolling, there is no turning it back. Don't put yourself at risk by getting directly involved, just keep reporting it to the police until they do something about it. Cops can be dicks too, but often they are not and will take the necessary steps to rid the problem, especially if dealing is going on. It's their job, not yours.

It's a very unfair and miserable situation the potheads have put you in. It won't last forever. Take a deep breath and have faith it will work out, because it will.
posted by waving at 2:23 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

This may be naive of me, and may take a specific kind of personality to carry it off, but it is conceivable that you could knock on the door, introduce yourself, pass over a 6-pack of beer, and say that you feel bad you don't know each others' names because you've seen them in the hall and live next door, and they should feel free to knock if they need a cup of sugar or something? Give them a fake name if it makes you feel better, I doubt they'd ever even question it.

Then mention that you've been kind of surprised since you moved in about how thin the walls and floor are, and it's been surprisingly okay noise-wise (and you hope they'll let you know if they think otherwise from their side), but you've definitely noticed and, more worryingly, your little kids had bad reactions to a really strong smell of incense in the building... and you can't even tell if it's coming from: top, bottom, or either side of your apartment. Say you've been trying to air everything out so the kids can hopefully visit again, especially since you've been way under the weather the past few days, but it's been pretty tough. You don't want to impose, but you've been introducing yourself around to a lot of neighbors and asking this too, and if there's anything they can do to try to keep smells and smoke and stuff down in their place, it'd be seriously appreciated?

Meanwhile, I see no harm in going to your local precinct and asking what they think your best options are for proceeding in a case like this. Be sincerely grateful for their time and advice, but feel free to tell them you don't feel comfortable giving your address until you've had some time to think about what they've said. Then take your time. This is still a very new situation and you've been under a lot of stress and transition and sickness, and you can't necessarily believe that any path will give you the immediate relief you crave. If you can, while you're still recovering, spend more time at your S.O.'s, or a friend's, or with family.

Best of luck.
posted by argonauta at 2:48 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

Did waving really just suggest you "take a deep breath"? That made me smile.

If I were you, and I lived in Australia (as I do) where the war on drugs isn't quite so dramatic, I'd go knock on their door, introduce myself, and apologetically explain that the smell is filling my apartment and I really don't want my kids exposed to that. Could they please do something to stop the smoke permeating my living space? A vaporiser or blocking off the vents or something? I know it's a hassle and I'm sorry but I can't go to work in clothes reeking of pot smoke, delivered with a sheepish smile. And I'm happy to block off the vents on my side if that would help.

95% of the smokers I know would respond positively to that. I think that's your best bet as far as immediate relief goes.

The other 5% wouldn't give a stuff about your gentle complaints, and then if it continued, I'd ring the police each and every time I could smell it.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:01 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

One thing I would suggest right away is to go out and buy one or more
air cleaners. Put one in your bedroom, one in your living room, and
so on. Get a HEPA one. There are a LOT of air cleaners that dont do anything.
If you would like some specific recommendations contact me.

I have had a similar problem before, and it took a long time but we ended up moving.
We forced the landlord to let us out of our lease.
This is probably not an ideal or easy solution.

One problem is that if the smell of smoke/pot is pervasive in your apartment
even if you could get the people to stop the smell will linger. I doubt
if you can get the landlord to scrub it out.

Realistically they are smoking it up, and doing it a lot.
Stopping by their apartment and requesting that they stop smoking,
perhaps smoke outdoors, smoke on their balcony, or open a window
will probably be quickly forgotten.
posted by digividal at 3:17 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Better safe than sorry especially with the three year old involved. Call the cops, do not try to talk to these people. Yes, it is naive to think that talking to them or the landlord will do anything but put you in danger. You do not owe these "neighbors" anything, and if they are dealing they could turn ugly really fast if they think you are on to them.
posted by mermayd at 4:29 AM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

Wow. I really don't understand the people who are freaking out about how "dangerous" these people are and how you should call the cops immediately. Seriously, guys, it's just pot. If they were smoking crack in there, or getting up to serious bad stuff, you'd know because your biggest complaint wouldn't be the smell of weed smoke. It's gross and unpleasant, not evil incarnate.

I know lots of people who smoke weed. If you told them that you could smell their weed smoke and that it was making you and your kids sick, and asked them to find an alternative, every single one of them would apologise. They're not devil-spawn, they're just pot smokers. And they don't know their smoke is seeping into your house. Now, if you talk to them a couple times and nothing changes, or if they're belligerent, then I would think about calling the cops.But it's more likely that they want to not get arrested and will try to work with you on this.
posted by windykites at 4:51 AM on September 8, 2012 [25 favorites]

Don't talk to them about please stopping their drug business. The only thing you are doing is giving them a heads up who will call the cops later. Do that, best in person or at least not anonymous - you aren't the criminal here and you can ask the police to not name their source when they bust your neighbors. (It's unlikely they rush in yelling your name anyway.)

Your neighbors aren't trying to hide their "business" and they obviously don't care if they force their habit on the other residents either. If they were trying to be discreet and not sell, talking to them might help. They don't, so why play it nice? That won't get immediate results and might only put you in danger. It doesn't matter what they sell, it's still an illegal business about real money. And that kind of thing doesn't attract the nicest people, so even if your neighbors are harmless, their customers or competitors for the market might not be.
posted by MinusCelsius at 5:03 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

It matters what they're like. Are they kids selling to their friends? If so, they likely have no clue how offensive they're being and would stop if they learned. Or are they putting out the word that they'll sell to anyone, thereby making your building a place for transactions with a lot of strangers. If so, they likely don't give a shit about you, and you should be wary of giving them a heads up that you're the one eventually complaining to the police.

I've lived next to/near many dealers. I've had my house and car broken into and my life threatened after meekly asking for cooperation. I've also had a little luck in asking reasonable-seeming people for cooperation.

If the tenant/possible dealer seems reasonable, talk to them first. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with calling the police. Try a community policing officer first if those exist in your location. They'll have a better idea of the history and personalities of the chronic offenders they know, and they can sometimes offer nontraditional help and solutions to living near terrible neighbors.

I disagree with going directly to a narco unit. If your neighbors stop dealing/smoking, that doesn't necessarily mean they're going anywhere. And if they're not reasonable people, they could find other, unanticipated ways of being bad neighbors.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 5:49 AM on September 8, 2012

So, if I call the cops what happens? Can I get them evicted?...If you knew how hard it was to find a place and move you would know why I feel so strongly.

They don't give a shit about me...

Which is more indicative of not giving a shit? Smoking pot and having a lot of visitors over to the apartment, or calling the cops on your neighbors for the above without ever even meeting them, hoping you can get them evicted? I sure as hell know which of these characters I would rather live near.

Have a bit of human empathy, and get to know the people you just put yourself next to. If they seem vaguely reasonable, then let them know what your situation is. This has a very high probability of solving your problem. If they actually seem like assholes and you can't do anything, then sure, call your landlord or call the cops. But based on what you've written here, you have no idea.
posted by value of information at 6:16 AM on September 8, 2012 [17 favorites]

I am a frequent pot smoker, and enjoy doing so in the privacy of my own home.

A few years ago I was living in an old house that had been converted into an apartment building. It was very drafty and the walls were very thing. My neighbor downstairs knocked on my door about a month after I moved in and told me they could often smell my pot smoke in the kitchen, and it made them uncomfortable. They were nice, but firm. I apologized and changed my smoking habits.
After that it was a non-issue.

From the tone your question it seems like you are really eager to jump to the worst of conclusions.
posted by pupus at 6:34 AM on September 8, 2012 [26 favorites]

In deciding whether you go to them, the landlord, or the police, keep in mind that the police don't really care about virtually any non-public drug use, and even small-scale dealing will usually just have them charged with a misdemeanor and back home (and not very happy about getting busted) the same day.

The landlord likely has the most power in this situation, in that he can tell them to GTFO or he'll report them (which for a little fish with no record will likely scare them far more than an actual arrest would).

That said, personally, I'd n'th the suggestion to just politely ask them to find a way to keep their "incense" smoke from drifting into your apartment.
posted by pla at 7:00 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

You could even just slip a note under the door:
Your pot smoke is smelling up the entire building. Figure out a way to keep it out the vents or I'm calling the cops.

~ Your neighbor

posted by deathpanels at 7:04 AM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I would talk to them first, or at least leave them a note. I've smoked in an apartment before, in my early 20s. My neighbors smoked too - I sometimes smelled pot in the hallway - so I figured it was fine.

If a new neighbor moved in, I would have continued to smoke in my apartment. It wouldn't have occurred to me to stop. If the neighbor had said something or left me a note, I would have been embarrassed at my cluelessness and stopped immediately! I had no ill intentions and wanted / want to be a good neighbor.

So, I vote communication with your neighbor before police.
posted by Why hello, I am a sock puppet at 7:08 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

As a child protection worker, I can tell you that you don't really have a safety worry here re the smoke and your children. Generally, children drug tested after second hand pot exposure test negative unless the exposure was heavy and sustained-which would be lots of smoking in the same room, for instance. I can't imagine your children would be measurably exposed when it's smoke in another apartment seeping through the walls (as annoying as that sounds).
posted by purenitrous at 7:12 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

Honestly- you've been there only ten days? In this situation I might just consider moving again.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:28 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Look I can understand how this would piss you off. The dealing is more of a concern imho. Full disclosure, I smoke and try my best not to bother other people. I have a card but that doesn't mean I can/should be an asshole about it. Have you thought about saying something to your neighbor? I would be really embarassed and change up my habits to not cause a problem. I really do get your frustration. My neighbors chain smoke cigarrettes and the smell comes in my apt driving my brother and I crazy.
posted by handbanana at 8:20 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Please talk to these people or leave a note before calling the cops.

You are leaping to unfounded conclusions. Pot smoker != inconsiderate asshole.
posted by gnutron at 8:24 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I really don't understand the people who are saying to just talk to them. Unless pot smokers are really under the delusion that the smell isn't completely obvious? Because it is. There are times when talking to someone is the answer. In my ex's last apartment, he shared vents with a roommate. Said roommate knew there were shared vents and rarely smoked at home. The couple times he did, it reeked so bad I felt like I couldn't breathe. Or if you have a neighbor who you know, or who isn't smoking constantly.

There's another point here, that a lot of people think it should be legalized. Well, it isn't legal and wishing it were doesn't make it okay. It's also not legal to speed, and as much as I wish it were, I still have to pay the consequences if I get ticketed. The OP doesn't need to concern himself with being nice to these people -- they're either completely oblivious or downright assholes, and either way having a big impact on OP's quality of living. Their so-called "right" to enjoy pot in the privacy of their own home does not trump OP's right to be able to breathe clean air, to be able to go to work without reeking of pot, or hey, to walk down the street without having everyone stare at him as he walks by wafting acrid pot smell off him.

As far as "distrust of landlords" -- sure, it depends on the landlord. But tenant rights are so protected in the US that landlords usually have a hell of a time evicting for anything besides non-payment. At my last apartment, my landlord wanted to evict a tenant because he was making it hard to get others to stay there (a shared house with individual leases), but didn't have adequate grounds to evict despite some destruction of property. So regardless of whether OP's current landlords are trustworthy, they're unlikely to be able to effectively deal with the neighbor.

However, OP, I do recommend you look for another place. This is unlikely to resolve quickly or to your full satisfaction. Take this up with your landlord from a perspective of moving out at the end of the month without penalty. Make a case that when you looked at the apartment, you were not aware that it was going to reek of pot and that breaks the move-in condition you agreed to. [Regardless of whether or not this is in your lease, taking a strong stance on this is more likely to result in you not losing money.]
posted by DoubleLune at 8:27 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

I am not a child-protection worker, and I do not have the expertise to speak directly to the question of whether the children can be harmed by the volume of smoke you are describing. However, I am an attorney familiar with family law. Regarding one of the children in question, you note that the child is "a three year old that [you] would like to bring to visit." That suggests that you share custody of this child. Your description indicates that your live-in S.O. also has a shared-custody arrangement.

If this is correct and if either of you have an attorney who has helped with custody arrangements, you might mention this issue to that attorney and inquire about possible ramifications of your living situation. I am not licensed in Virginia and you are not my clients so I cannot give you legal advice, but I can tell you that if I were representing a client in child-custody proceedings and that client's home resembled yours ("Our bathrooms and closets reek of this garbage, as do our clothes."), I would want to know that fact and I would indeed have specific advice for that client. Ditto if custody were disputed and I were representing the other parent.

If that is not relevant to your situation, then apologies. I hope you are able to get this situation resolved. It is always tremendously unpleasant to be uncomfortable living in your own home.
posted by cribcage at 8:31 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

Hi. I'm not a pot smoker, but I am a person who almost never calls the cops on anyone for anything because I have concerns about the cops.

I am still going to agree that you should absolutely not go over there in person, especially if you have kids. Not because you necessarily have to or want to call the cops - but because you want that as an option later, and you don't want them to know who was the person who did call the cops, and to be able to screw with you.

Yes, maybe they're small time pot dealers. Maybe you're not at risk of being gunned down in retaliation. But you may be at risk for them maliciously reporting you for something unreal or in other ways screwing with you.

When I was a little girl, my mother called the cops on our neighbors for something that was illegal, but not a major offense. They knew it was her, because she'd made previous complaints on the subject. And after that, we had two break-ins within two months, the car gas tank was messed with, and an anonymous and completely unjustified complaint to CPS.

I agree that an anonymous note isn't crazy, but it's also a risk - you essentially have to creep out in the middle of the night to have little chance of detection. If you do write one, "I can smell your pot smoke, keep it to yourselves or I'm calling the cops" is also not a terrible idea.

But you should feel free to call the cops. Yeah, it's not going to make their day to bust a small-time pot dealer, but it's also not going to /lower/ their quota sheet. And if this is affecting your family, you should feel free to drop the boom.
posted by corb at 8:35 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

10 days, hmm. Have you met your neighbors? You are certainly assuming the very worst about them. I'd suggest you don't let your current aggravation at being sick lead you to a decision you might regret. This country has an awful lot of pot smokers! What if the people who lived in your place before you were also pot smokers, and never noticed the problem? Then how would your neighbors even know there was a problem?

As I see it, the main problem is the very thin walls. You could potentially have moved in next to an Indian family whose curry was smelling up your clothes and house night and day. Can't call the cops on that!

I'm just saying, you're the new tenant, and you just got there. Many of your feelings are justified.. it does sound very annoying. But if you call the cops you really could be ruining someone's future chances of employment, you could be sending a harmless person to jail, you could cost a troubled family thousands in legal bills.

I would find another place to live. You can't know the impact of what you are considering. As has been mentioned, you will not be able to stop the ball from rolling once it's begun.
posted by Glinn at 8:45 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

"I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home as long as it doesn't affect me. This affects me. I see a couple of options. One, we can turn this into some kind of dumb neighbor war where I call the cops and then you vandalize my car, and then I put a burning bag of poop on your doorstep, and you retaliate by blasting porn soundtracks into the vents and then I put a post up on craigslist advertising your location and your pot and inviting an armed heist.....OR I could buy you a nice volcano vaporizer and a magic flight launch box you can use to get high."

The smell of pot smoke isn't going to hurt your kids, for what it's worth. There's really no active ingredient in your air, just the (absolutely impossible to stop) smell.
posted by pjaust at 8:46 AM on September 8, 2012

I would certainly call the cops without even giving it a second thought. It is possible that these people are harmless and just selling a bit to their friends. It's also possible that they only use pot but sell something much harder, and their customers or competitors are more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill, recreational pot smoker. That's not up to you to discern - that's what the authorities are for.

DoubleLune makes a good point that as much as people wished it was legal, it's not in most jurisdictions. Your neighbors are doing something illegal that is impacting the quality of your life. Call the cops, or as others have suggested, go to your local station and speak to someone in person.
posted by youngergirl44 at 8:48 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Unless pot smokers are really under the delusion that the smell isn't completely obvious?"

Many pot smokers are under this delusion, and many more are under the related delusion that Nog Champa does anything more than smell horrible and clue people into your pot smoking that much harder. Just because they smoke a significant volume does not mean they deal pot, deal pot unethically, source pot unethically, are dangerous in anyway, or even think they are imposing.

The marijuana laws in your state are in no way comensurate with the annoyance provided by their shitty lack of consideration. Possession of less than 1/2 oz (first offense) is a misdemeanor and gets you 30 days in jail while any subsequent offense gets you a year. Possession of more than 1/2 oz is easy to turn into a charge of Sale/Distribution which is an automatic felony and has a mandatory minimum of a year in jail but carries a penalty of 10 years. Even a misdemeanor can easily mean an end to any hope for an education while a felony would need to be disclosed to any potential employer, which can mean an end to any hope of a career.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:22 AM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

nthing don't talk to the neighbors first. That's normally the etiquette for neighbor problems, but these are dealers, and the risks far outweigh the karma ding for breaking community etiquette. Seriously.

Plus I seriously doubt that 24/7 potheads/dealers are going to give a ripe fig about this being a problem for you. Most likely you'd get a "sorry, dude," and as soon as you left they'd be cracking jokes about people who complain about getting product for free.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:30 AM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]

"nthing don't talk to the neighbors first. That's normally the etiquette for neighbor problems, but these are dealers, and the risks far outweigh the karma ding for breaking community etiquette. Seriously."

There is currently no evidence provided that these neighbors are dealing anything, several answers have jumped to this conclusion but it is not present in the question.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:33 AM on September 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

Many years ago, a former neighbour came over and told me she could smell our smoke coming in through the vents of her house when we smoked inside. We were totally mortified and apologetic and never did it again. Relations with said neighbours remained amicable until we moved out a couple of years later. Please talk to your neighbours or leave a note. The majority of smokers I know are considerate and discreet.

But yes, if they disregard this, feel free to escalate things. Best of luck.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:42 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I would call the cops, move, or both. Quite frankly, I'd bring the police report with me to the meeting with the landlord where I said I was moving out.

Being nice and understanding and charitable and patient is good (generally,) but I don't think it's morally or legally obligatory for me to be "Miss Nice Neighbor" in this kind of situation, and thus that's not what I'd advise you to do, either.
posted by SMPA at 9:49 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Blasdelb, in the OP's post:
In the ten days we've been here, I've seen enough non-tenants making three minute visits to their apartment to believe they're selling, too.

I lived next door to a dealer once, and that's pretty defining for me too.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 9:56 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

My questions would be:

- What is the overall neighborhood vibe? I lived in a 4-flat in a borderline sketchy neighborhood, and it turned out that everyone in the building smoked, except us. We had hot water heat, so no shared vents. But the kids downstairs would regularly open their back hallway door and spray air freshener and burn incense by their front door. They were nice hardworking people, and invited us down for a toke (we all got to know each other after an electrical short knocked out power to the entire building, and it just turned out we all got along). But my kids were older by that time so no worries about it affecting them.

- Is your building owned by a single person, or an entity? Or a person who uses a property management company? We lived in an apartment building, an 8-flat, and the walls were extremely thin. No doubt the kids next door were doing something, but it was the noise and video games and what appeared to be mosh pit dancing at 1:00 a.m., screaming arguments, running through the halls and leaving the outside doors open to 20 degree weather that got to us. We did call the property management company and they advised us to call the cops. The cops would come, the kids shut off all the lights and pretended not to be home. Rinse, wash, repeat. We eventually moved because it was apparent the property mgmt company didn't want to get involved, and there were other issues (mold, lack of security doors, people going through our car at night right outside our bedroom window, new even more sketchy tenants moving in) that made it impossible to get a decent night's sleep. Asking them to keep it down turned into "fuck you, asshole!" yelled back through their apt. door.

I personally would be looking for a new place to live, because if your landlord is so absent that they do not know their building reeks of pot, that's a bad sign. If they are there on a regular basis doing repairs or lawn maintenance, and ignore the pot smell, that's also a bad sign.

You can go to battle with the cops, sure. But no guarantee that the landlord will not rent to the same or worse if they get evicted. I personally have nothing against pot, I've done it in the past, inhaled, even, but I would be pissed off if it were coming into my place so much that it made my clothes reek. I myself would be calling the landlord and saying, "hey, my apartment reeks of pot, and I have little kids here, did you know about this? Because I am either going to call the cops or ask to have my lease broken if it's not rectified ASAP."

Like I said, in both situations, I could give a crap what the neighbors were doing, because again, in both places, we had forced hot water and no shared vents. It was the general sketchiness and noise level at the last place, and yeah, people running in out and for five minute stays may not technically mean they are dealing, but it's still annoying as fuck. Call the landlord first, if they didn't know, now they will. If they tell you to call the cops (washing their hands of it) now you'll know what type of landlord they are. Then you can decide whether to call the cops or break the lease and get the hell out of Dodge.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:58 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think it's important to remember that while there is a Venn diagram intersection of "people who smoke pot 24/7 such that it comes through to neighbor houses and makes your apartment smell like pot" and "people who are considerate, would totally care about their neighbors, and even post on Metafilter", that Venn diagram intersection likely is not large.

Don't imagine possibly impacting amazing, wonderful MeFites who just take a smoke every now and again. That is likely not what you are dealing with.
posted by corb at 9:59 AM on September 8, 2012

My neighbors for the past 9 years or so implied we were drug dealers when we first moved in because we had "so many people coming and going at all hours." They are a retired couple with no family in the area, so two neighbors who each had their own non-resident partners and lots of friends looked like suspicious activity to them.

I am completely appalled that people are suggesting getting the criminal justice system involved instead of just talking to your neighbors.

Talk to them and ask them to stop smoking pot, maybe just not in any room with a shared wall. Or maybe they need to keep a window open more often.

If they don't respond positively, talk to the landlord.
posted by MonsieurBon at 10:04 AM on September 8, 2012 [10 favorites]

I lived next door to smokers like this for several years. The problem got progressively worse; I did talk to them, and they were apologetic every time, but it's not like they were going to stop smoking (pot or cigarettes) or switch to edibles or something. And when they smoked outside, it came in through the windows rather than the shared walls, so it's not like that was a solution (and it wouldn't have worked for the pot).

Since they were the most prolific cigarette smokers I've ever interacted with, that was what I brought up with the landlord -- but the landlord wouldn't do anything useful, either. Spray-foaming around the plumbing fixtures and so forth was a fair attempt, but there was just too much shared airspace.

I never did call the cops on them -- they were nice enough people to talk to, except for the part where they actually had to be asked to move away from my doorway to let me pass rather than force me to pass through a huge cloud of smoke, and the part where they had to be asked not to litter cigarette butts all over our shared doorstep (how are these things not common courtesy?) -- but I got more stressed out and had worse breathing problems every year I lived there.

Moving sucks, and there's no guarantee you won't find the same problem in the next apartment (since nobody seems to want to even try to provide non-smoking housing.) If you don't feel comfortable talking to the neighbors by yourself (understandable), maybe try talking to some of the other tenants near the problem neighbors, and visit the smokers together. I doubt you'll get a good result (consistently breathable air), but it might alleviate the problem at least a bit, for as long as they remember to think about you.

They might be willing to refrain from smoking in rooms that share a wall with yours, or don't have outside ventilation. That can help a little. But seriously, just having them open a window doesn't do much.
posted by asperity at 10:10 AM on September 8, 2012

I think the Venn diagram intersection of "people who smoke pot 24/7 such that it comes through to neighbor houses and makes your apartment smell like pot" and "people who are considerate, would totally care about their neighbors, and even post on Metafilter" is likely much larger than you'd think.

Go introduce yourself to your neighbors, tell them you have a kid that is being affected by the smoke, and ask if they can smoke on a balcony or by a window or something. I imagine they'd say something close to "I'm so sorry, I had no idea".
posted by 23skidoo at 10:13 AM on September 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

I am completely appalled that people are suggesting getting the criminal justice system involved instead of just talking to your neighbors.

I hear you, MonsieurBon, but in one neighborhood I lived in, the place across the street was emptied out by the Sheriff after the tenant disappeared, and they found not only several cable boxes, but a hand gun fell out of the couch when the movers tipped it up to get it through a doorway. No one knew what happened to the guy, whether he'd skipped town or what. And this was a nice neighborhood across from a grade school and two or three houses had the five minute visitors, and I later found out the lovely Victorian-era cemetery, as well as some neighbors I thought were harmless were actually addicted to crack. So it depends on the OP's comfort level and general atmosphere of the locale, IMHO.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:14 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

People were smoking crack in the cemetery, I meant to say.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:28 AM on September 8, 2012

Cable boxes?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 11:05 AM on September 8, 2012

Cable boxes that they stole to sell to people who wanted to hook up cable illegally.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 11:06 AM on September 8, 2012

Are your neighbors assholes for some reason other than the weed they smoke?

How is it that you didn't notice the smell when you were checking out the apartment?

I've had hit and miss luck with apartment living. Mostly the issues became problematic because I let the pressure of needing to find a place to live outweigh potential concerns I had about the apartment. From the info in your posts here I would advise you to look for another place to live. If you have issues relating to two children, they ought to carry the most weight.

Folks here who advise you to talk to your neighbors may be those types who can carry this sort of thing off. Not all of us have that mindset. Since you already think of your neighbors as assholes, it seems that the odds are stacked against a meaningful conversation with them. I didn't notice if you said that others in the building shared the weed habit. That would be a good thing to know. If that's true, then calling the cops won't really solve your problem. You'll have to get the rest of the tenants arrested, and then get your landlord to make sure that, in the future, no pot smokers rented in the building.

I'm sure you are justified in being annoyed by the pot smokers. I'm not so sure your remedy lies in the direction of getting them arrested, or having them change their habits. I wouldn't even try to guess whether these folks are dangerous. Nothing in your posts gives me that sort of insight. If you decide to go to the cops, go to the cop shop in person. If they don't want to deal with it, then you should either suck it up, so to speak, or look for another place to live.

I realize my suggestions don't deal with what's fair, just what I think is workable. The presence of children would heavily influence how I'd act.
posted by mule98J at 11:08 AM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

[Folks, this has been a little on the debate-y side already and absolutely needs to not devolve into an argument about drug policy and ethics and so on. There's been a variety of suggestions to the asker; if you have something specific and substantial to add as advice that answers the question and hasn't already been covered, that's fine, but other than that please consider giving this a pass.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on September 8, 2012

I'll just repeat what seems to be getting drowned out above, so far as the OP and their significant other's situation with kids on shared custody/visitation: Under this circumstance the smell of pot getting into a child's clothing, etc., goes way beyond "live and let live," since it might get construed as the OP's own doing by a vengeful spouse/divorce lawyer, with consequences at least as dire for the OP as those faced by the smoking neighbors getting arrested. Given the potential risk involved, I'd recommend moving asap.

FWIW, too, without the sorts of detail that the OP likely doesn't want to share out of privacy concerns, this question becomes practically impossible to answer; that is, I've lived in neighborhoods where most every suggestion above might have worked effectively and in others where the same well-meaning advice would have proved disastrous.
posted by 5Q7 at 11:43 AM on September 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

I've mentioned this before, but a friend of mine was in a similar situation, only with cigarettes instead of pot. He decided to be nice and talk to his neighbors instead of going to the landlord first. He's really one of the most unassuming and conflict-averse people I've ever met, just an all around Nice Person.

So, he went to the neighbors and asked in his customary polite way if they'd be willing to smoke outside, they laughed in his face, and the next day he found his car so badly keyed that he had to have it repainted. His apartment complex is pretty upscale and suburban, and the smokers in question were not kids.

Don't talk to the neighbors. This is what landlords are for.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:06 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

Normally I advocate talking to neighbors first, but something like this is clearly a *lifestyle* choice and nobody who regularly smokes pot in their apartment is going to change that habit. You're not asking for something small like "hey could you mow your lawn a little later than 7am so I can sleep?: you're asking "hey can you stop doing something illegal that you do all day every day?" Call the cops *anonymously*.

FYI, in my experience, the cops never say "do you want to give your name?" they just say "what's your name" so be prepared to say "I'd like to remain anonymous." My fiance accidentally gave his name when reporting a neighborhood nuisance once (nothing bad happened, he just had mentioned specifically ahead of time that he was going to make an anon call) because of the way they asked the question. Just something to keep in mind.
posted by radioamy at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

You've obviously made your decision, but the emphasis on anonymity and concerns that talking to them first might "tip them off" seem a little ridiculous to me. New neighbors move in next door, and ten days later the cops get called? They're going to know it's you.
posted by granted at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2012 [12 favorites]

DoubleLune, I think you're right on the money. They don't give a shit about me even though they've seen me in the hall going into my place with my S.O.'s daughter.

What? By seeing you, they're magically supposed to know they is a problem? They likely have no idea the smoke is leaching your apartment. Your out of proportion outrage is causing you to jump to conclusions. You probably should just move.
posted by spaltavian at 2:28 PM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]

Even thinking along a better safe than sorry approach, which is totally appropriate with a kid, just calling the cops anonymously is a terrible idea. On the off chance that your neighbors really are dangerous drug runners, it won't take a genius to reason that the only thing that changed before getting busted was that new neighbor who moved in. The safest thing to do remains heading over Lasagna in hand to suss them out, and if they really are dangerous, YOU REALLY WANT TO MOVE. The cops will have no interest in doing anything meaningful to protect you or your kid whether they actually bust your neighbors or not.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:43 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm sure your decision is made but I wanted to chime in as a considerate, neighborly pot smoker, who is under the illusion my pot smoke isn't completely noticeable. I have lived in lots of apartments though I am currently a home-owner. If a neighbor ever asked me to tone down the smoking or take it outside, or whatever, I would have been embarrassed and apologetic, and terrified to smoke at home anymore. I don't sell anything, but have totally considered it so that I could smoke for free. Every person from whom I have ever purchased weed sells weed only, and certainly not to anyone who owns a gun. I know some people think drugs are drugs, but in my experience there is something to the hippie stoner cliche.

I think your neighbor has NO idea you can even smell it (stupid or not, weed smokers tend to think our smoke is a lot less stinky than cigarette smoke, and I personally am pretty grossed out by cigarettes), and it's worth a shot to complain to them directly or indirectly. I would be REALLY surprised if your children's clothes smell like pot, though. Seriously.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 5:53 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've managed apartments. Via my personal and myriad experience, I'm not as quick to discount the drug dealer aspect.

I am SUPER pro marijuana legalization.

Certainly the smell is bothering the OP, but the description of possible drug deals matches my direct experience, the experience of friends I've advised in similar situations, and the experience of the few posters above who have directly dealt with the same thing.

I've also had a nasty neighbor call the police to my apartment with noise complaints about "parties" when I was home alone with the TV on at reasonable levels - just out of spite for unrelated grievances. It's not fun. I agree.

This situation does not sound like that.

This situation sounds a lot like the OP is irate about one thing (the odor of pot) because the bigger worry (drug dealing) is too much to contemplate.

- I LOVED the suggestion above about getting the divorce attornies involved to negotiate with the landlord, since this could create serious custody problems.

- That suggestion + the suggestion to use the seriousness of the situation to negotiate a quick and financially painless exit from the lease is where it is at.


I've written about it here before once or twice - two years ago, a drug addicted/dealing neighbors of mine had been accused of burglering other apartments at my current residence. The owner had some nebulous but tangible relationship with the tenant and refused to act. She is a former defense attoney, btw. I never understood her inaction! The druggie tenant eventually moved out because the police were around A LOT.

This was before my son was born. Things have been stellar since the druggie moved for the entire building.

Had we moved in with our son, and the situation been what it was in the beginning, we would have immediately moved out.


A friend of a friend's neighbor was clearly dealing drugs a few years ago. I was contacted because I had experience with the police in their neighborhood. I put the tenant in touch with that neighborhood's community liason officer about the issue. It turned out the drug dealing apartment was already under surveillance, and they were arrested and evicted fairly quickly soon after.


This stuff happens. It is really nice that folks want to give the benefit of the doubt here. I do NOT consider pot smokers criminals. I DO consider illegal drug dealers criminals, because the nature of that enterprise invites further criminality, like the pot dealer who was gunned down in his own apartment last year for his cash and stash, which I referenced in my first comment in this thread.


Bad stuff happens. It's not a risk you want to take around your children. Ever.

OP, use your best judgement. Stay safe.
posted by jbenben at 7:50 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

The neighbors are imposing. That sucks ass since it's like your living space, it's your kids, and it's their problem. The probability of moving in next to neighbors who are constantly blazed is pretty small but when you're the one stuck with the problem, it sometimes feels like you have to do whatever you can within your means to remedy what fate stuck you with. Lucky enough we live in a world where we get to do just that.

That said, drug laws in this society are terrible. You, me, everyone you know who's done more than just listen to catchy commercials and gym teachers know how ridiculous over the top our drug enforcement is here. For some reason or another, we've made drug use a moral issue and while it may be in cases where the addiction rate is commensurate with the rate of profits the dealers are making, pot is a low-profit game and there's yet to be any concrete set of studies proving that marijuana is one.

Since you don't actually know your neighbors, I implore you to think about who they are and what they do. In your situation, it may be hard to do so because the world is rough and it hasn't exactly done you right but that's just the way it is and asserting yourself right here and right now isn't going make it all somehow better. It's going to marginally improve your life and it's going to completely ruin someone else's.

I mean, listen. These are kids. I guarantee you these are kids. Why do I say that? Because they're stupid as hell. They are so goddamn dumb. Do they really think that their neighbors won't smell their day-long sessions? Are they really dealing out of their apartment, inviting all sorts of strangers right in to where they keep their stash? And holy shit, are they using their product knowing how goddamned harebrained it makes them when they live in a society that's so keenly looking to take a shit on them that they'd look into their Republican hearts and actually want to pay billions of tax dollars just to keep the enforcement agencies sharp?

These are clueless, stupid kids who can't see beyond their immediate pleasures and who have yet to figure out their lives. I know a guy who smoked himself into a stupor for most of his 20's before he got an MD and is now one of the few conscientious doctors whose willing to sacrifice the money of relocating his clinic near a city just in order to provide care for the people living way out in the boonies. I know people who relied on the drug as a form of self-medication before they realized how much it was stranding them in the hellish reality of their own life before they went on to seek help elsewhere. I know good people who smoke just because they love the feeling, who are happy where they are in the world.

Because if your neighbors are dealers and they're doing what you say they're doing, then they are so naive and clueless that they will either get eaten alive in jail and sink into the abyss of never being able to land a halfway decent job or be accepted into a college. They will be stranded by institutional forces far beyond their own control and stuck in this position of being shat on repeatedly by people who are giddy as hell to do just that.

Call your landlord, ask them to stop, or just leave a note. Do the better thing, recognize that at this place in time with the injustices of the world being what they are, that you're being the much bigger man for sacrificing your convenience and time just to make sure that your and your SO's kids are living without that kind of stupidity hanging out near you, and that somebody else's kids aren't going to pay the price for their own stupid indiscretions.
posted by dubusadus at 9:02 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

My city has a troubling crime rate that has grown in recent years, particularly in terms of violence. One of the major factors in this growth has been a pervasive "Stop Snitchin'" drumbeat in the communities that need policing the most. From the perspective of the criminal courts, I can tell you this isn't merely a theoretical, academic problem. It's a real issue that has obstructed investigations and prosecutions and that has allowed crime to flourish. The dissuading of community members from reporting crimes they witness has been a major factor in making Boston worse.

AskMe isn't for commenters to debate each other, so I'm not going to go farther than that in explication. The subject is discussed elsewhere on the Internet in greater detail, and you can decide for yourself. But to the extent that it's relevant to this thread for other commenters to list potential consequences that could befall your neighbors in the event of prosecution for their actions, this is the flip side. "Stop Snitchin'" causes real harm.
posted by cribcage at 9:29 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another relevant datapoint:

I know the idea many people have of heavy pot smolers tends to be taken from pop culture - the harmless, lovable kids who have zany antics and scrounge for munchies and are sweet people going through a phase.

I have acquaintances (friends of friends type of thing) who are heavy pot smokers-even to the level that you're talking about. Some of them are absolutely inconsiderate. I asked one not to smoke IN FRONT OF my kid, not even just controlling the smoke but not directly in front of, and when confronted she said "sure" but then fifteen minutes later was doing it again. An hour later she tried to hotbox a kid in a car. Another one is absolutely armed and violent and positively militant about their "rights." I try to avoid both now. Both are in their thirties.

Doing this is evidence of stupidity, but stupidity is not always evidence of youth. You are the only one who can know what they look/seem like, but I urge you to consider your gut feelings.

Also, nthing that this could be used against you in a custody dispute.
posted by corb at 1:35 AM on September 9, 2012

[Okay folks, once again, if you have specific advice for helping the OP with his problem go ahead and offer it, but this is not the spot to work out the social ills of the drug issue, whichever side you are on. Here's the problem: The OP's apartment is filled with the smell of weed from the neighbors; the OP wants it to stop, and as soon as possible. Help with that, or don't reply.]
posted by taz (staff) at 3:17 AM on September 9, 2012

Weed is illegal. Weed smells. The police can help with the first, and you may have to move to solve the second. You shouldn't have to deal with this.

Speaking to your landlord about getting professional cleaners in might be possible, but not until the first problem is resolved.

Many people have hangups about talking to the police; many police officers are just good people. Go over to the local station house, and ask to speak with a narcotics officer (or detective, if there's no narcotics officer around). They can probably explain to you what your options are. Set aside half an hour or maybe an hour for this. Try not to smell too much like dope smoke when you go, though. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:00 AM on September 10, 2012

Really funny that all the smokers say "talk to your neighbors, they are most likely friendly and just didn't realize they were infringing on new tennants and will do everything they can to cover up their illegal activity, since like anyone else, they don't want to be arrested"...

While the obviously biased individuals who buy into the media fear campaign over pot all say "call cops immediately."

I don't smoke pot, but I've handled neighborly disputes. Nobody has ever really regretted attempting communication first. But when a neighbor jumps straight to tattling to landlord/cops/homeowners association/etc., its always painfully obvious and leads to extreme resentment.

Also, the most dangerous, violent, and crazy/unpredictable neighbors I've seen had no drug or alcohol issues. They were just pure crazy. All I'm saying is don't immediately conclude that because they use pot, they must be dangerous unsavory characters.

Trust me, if you call the cops on your new neighbors, they will know it was you. Unless they got any other new neighbors in the last 10 days.

Full disclosure, I am biased here. I would trust a drug dealer over a cop. A drug dealer's job is to give you a product in exchange for currency; its basic retail. If they are trustworthy, they get repeat business and profit. A cops job is to make arrests. If he distorts facts or coerces information leading to conviction, he gets praised by his superiors. He has no care for the concern of a common citizen.
posted by el_yucateco at 12:49 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

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