Can You Smoke Medical Marijuana in Public?

With cannabis laws changing so rapidly across the United States and Canada, a lot of people are struggling to keep up with what’s legal and what’s not. This can be especially confusing as laws and regulations vary from state to state, and because there are different rules pertaining to medicinal and recreational smoking. All of this has many people wondering if you can smoke medical marijuana in public.

So, what’s the deal with publicly smoking marijuana?

Can you smoke medical marijuana in public?

It depends. The rules on smoking medical marijuana in public spaces varies between the United States and Canada, but for all practical purposes they’re pretty easy to keep straight.

Smoking medical marijuana in public in the United States

Simply put, it’s illegal. It doesn’t matter what state you live in – the public smoking of cannabis is against the law, period.

Smoking medical marijuana in public in Canada

Canada has significantly looser laws than its southern neighbor. There medicinal cannabis can be smoked anywhere in public as long as you’re not in a place that specifically bans smoking, like a bar.

Now, all of that being said, just because you find yourself in a place where you can’t smoke your medicinal weed, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. There are a few alternatives.

Be discrete

If you feel that you must smoke in public, don’t be dumb about it. Try to sneak off someplace that’s not right out in the open, or minimize the odor and smoke using a vape.

Ingest it in other ways

If smoking is out of the question, you can always munch on some edibles. Just be sure to stay within your tolerance limits. You can be in public having eaten too many edibles, but it certainly isn’t pleasant.

Go topical

If your medical condition can be treated with topical cannabis ointments, go for that.

Bottom line – if you’re going to use medicinal cannabis in public in the U.S., you’re going to have to keep things discrete.


For a look inside an award-winning cannabis dispensary, take a tour with us inside Denver's Kind Love, a high-end retail experience from the moment you walk in the store to the moment you try out your purchase at home. While misinformation plague the cannabis industry, a Kind Love, educated staff help customers find exactly what they're looking for. 

Can we see some ID please?

You must be 19 years of age or older to enter.