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Morning Spew

The New York Post Really Hates the Smell of Weed

Plus, some links to elevate your Wednesday morning.

9:39 AM EDT on September 6, 2023

A decorated balcony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
(Hell Gate)

It is, on an olfactory level, the most disturbing time of the year—that sticky string of days in September when crisp fall weather is on the horizon but the sun hasn't gotten the memo yet. Everything in the city starts to take on an overripe, overbaked quality, especially on the sidewalks: trash, piss, dog shit, human shit… I could, unfortunately, go on. 

But according to the New York Post and its readers, one specific scent is destroying the fabric of New York City right now, and it's not whatever is making the garbage cans outside of my apartment building smell like a PetSmart aquarium. It's weed. 

"Ever since NYC reopened to international tourists, put-off visitors have commented on our putrid fragrance. They’d grown accustomed to our summers of roasting garbage, but it’s the pot smoke that makes them dry heave," columnist Johnny Oleksinki wrote on Friday. "Most New Yorkers are fed up with the inescapable stench of lawlessness, too, but refrain from saying so for fear of being shouted at by progressive friends." He also called Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams "Gov. Cheech and Mayor Chong," which is funny in a Facebook post from that uncle kind of way, but not really congruent with reality.

And according to a few letters to the editor published by the Post earlier this week, its readers agree. "How far we have fallen. Once upon a time people were told to 'stop and smell the flowers.' Now they are forced to sniff the weed," a woman writing from Naples, Florida, opined. "The smell of marijuana makes me sick, whether I’m in or around a crowd of people or even smelling it emitting from a vehicle driving by me… If I’m on public transportation, the smell of someone walking by me who just smoked marijuana repulses me," wrote another man, from Rochester. Dare I say… high drama.

This isn't the first time in the past few weeks the Post banged the weed-smell drum, either. A Greek tennis player, if you can believe it, smelled weed at the U.S. Open on August 28th. (Although, to her credit, she was cool about it.) According to a series of mostly anonymous tips cobbled into an article from August 31—one of at least eight about the smell of weed this year alone—people are smoking weed at Carbone and Nobu 57, on the Hamptons Jitney, and in Saks Fifth Avenue—you know, where rich people and their noses spend time! And in July, a different Post columnist railed against public cannabis consumption: "Even lifelong stoners tell me the stench in the city is excessive… Drug addicts of the world will get the message: New York is where you want to be."

Does weed smell amazing? Depends on the quality. But, really, is it meaningfully nastier than tobacco smoke or car exhaust? Or the actual grossest smell being exhaled into the New York City air right now: some NYU freshman's Kiwi Pomegranate Polar Vortex-flavored nicotine vape? But until all of those scents help feed the narrative about crime and degeneracy in the city, you won't catch a whiff of them in the pages of the Post.

Some links that pass the sniff test:

  • Our national nightmare is over: The man waging war on New Jersey pools via drone has been arrested.
  • It's not looking awesome for everyone's favorite lying Congressman as signs emerge that George Santos, facing up to 20 years in prison, may be eyeing a plea deal in his fraud case.
  • The MTA, the City, and social media companies are banding together to discourage subway surfing after five young people died riding outside the trains this year.
  • If you're throwing poop and dead rats into your compost bin for some reason, uh, please don't do that anymore.
  • Two queens coming together to maximize joint slay?
  • Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role organizing the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021—the most severe sentence for any Capitol rioter so far.
  • The alleged Gilgo Beach Killer also stole around $20,000 in wages from employees at his architecture firm, according to a new lawsuit. Seems like he's kind of a shitty guy! 
  • Goodbye and good riddance to New York City's "floating jail."
  • After 7.5 years in prison and another 41 years with wrongful rape and criminal possession of a weapon convictions, Leonard Mack—a Black man misidentified by multiple eyewitnesses—was exonerated when new DNA evidence emerged in his case.
  • And finally, rest in peace to NY1 news anchor Ruschell Boone.
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