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Oregon man proposes anti-farting ordinance in response to new marijuana law
Letter to the editor skewers logic behind public nuisance amendment.
In the tiny town of Pendleton, Ore., the city council recently approved a measure that would add marijuana odor to a list of punishable public nuisance violations. But one area resident evidently thought this new ordinance reeked of hypocrisy, so he offered up his own addition to the public nuisance list: farting.
In a clearly tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor published in the East Oregonian, Pendleton resident Peter Walters asked why, if the city government could take the time to pass an amendment banning marijuana odor, they couldn’t also restrict “the other offensive smell that plagues our community.”
“While farting may be legal in Oregon, many (including myself) are offended by the flatulent stench,” writes Walters in a spot-on parody of the current issue. “Too often, homeowners and businesses fail to contain farts to their property, forcing the rest of us to put up with the smell. Some habitual farters argue that they need to fart for medical reasons but that doesn’t mean my kids should have to smell their farts. The city council should stop looking the other way and pretending not to notice.”
Walters went on to add, “This issue greatly affects me as I have a roommate whose recreational farting has been negatively affecting my quality of life for several months now. He claims that he is taking steps to mitigate the odor after I contacted the authorities. But unless our elected officials add farts to Pendleton’s nuisance code, it’s as if he who smelt it, dealt it. I call on our city council to set aside all other work and address this problem.”
This call for a ban on flatulence comes after a 6-1 vote by city council members to add marijuana odor to the nuisance violation list, even though the list already includes a provision related to excessive, unpleasant smells.
According to the East Oregonian, the provision has been supported by police and comes after complaints from neighbors living near marijuana growing sites.
“We normally open our windows in the early evenings to cool our house down in order to save energy,” said Mike Arbogast, a Pendleton resident whose neighbor reportedly grows six plants under a ventilated carport nearby. “The prevailing winds bring the odor from my neighbor’s house to my house. We will not be able to open our windows. It’s going to increase our energy bill.”
So far, the anti-pot amendment stands. As far as Walter’s request for an anti-farting ordinance, the city council has yet to comment.
Photo via ashton/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Tim Sampson is a reporter who focused on the technology, business, and politics beats. He's also an established comedy writer, with work on Comedy Central and in The Onion and ClickHole.