Gentleman ejected from Uber car for smoking "medicine"

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I side with the driver on this. Regardless of the quasi legality of weed in NOLA, the driver could still be arrested and subsequent customers would smell it and get the wrong ideal.


I concur that the driver is in the right. It’s his car after all, and the gentleman should’ve specified up front what he was going to smoke rather than make the assumption that it would’ve been ok.


Maybe the driver was worried about getting buzzed while he was operating a motor vehicle.


Not to mention the driver potentially getting a second-hand high that could render him/her under the influence.

Seriously, this is facepalm worthy.


Too bad he didn’t call a HotBox instead of a Uber…


Everyone in the back seat is on video like that now?

We can have opinions all day long, but what’s the law in NOLA? Does company policy allow a driver to refuse a fare?

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It just dawned on me that “Gentleman” didn’t even register when I read the headline. Congratulations bOING bOING; The reprogramming is complete.


Although I don’t smoke anymore, I have encountered similar situations. Years back, many places that forbade smoking specified cigarettes, and not other kinds of smoking. People also should not be quick to assume what is being smoked. I have had people equally freaked out by smoking damiana, sage, or other herbs simply because it was unfamiliar. It’s awkward to argue with somebody who worries that what you are using might be marijuana when it isn’t.

People also tend to get weird about insufflation (snorting) of things based upon similarly nebulous concerns.

The fellow who posted this video said, “I wanted to get medicated, so I
asked the driver if I could smoke. He clearly said ‘yes,’ so I did. In
New Orleans, marijuana has been decriminalized, so I didn’t see the
problem. But he did, so I got ejected.”

It’s not exactly a huge assumption to say he was smoking pot.


I side with the driver simply because they are within their rights to refuse services in this manner. Medicinal or not…if the person was smoking a cigar, would anyone think the driver is wrong?


Their huge assumption was probably that “smoking” automatically means “tobacco”, when it should not be assumed. Don’t agree with things if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into!

Yes, but only because they already agreed to it. It was certainly their right to refuse.

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Reminds me of the time I asked an Uber driver if I could smoke and he said yes, too. But you wouldn’t believe the hypocrisy when I lit myself on fire and he got upset.



So his consent can’t be withdrawn? That can’t be right.


I think it can be right. One persons revoked consent might be another’s lack of conviction or resolve. If you can’t trust yourself to stick to an agreement, who can you trust?

OTOH I do understand that consent can be conditional. Maybe smoking one thing is fine, while another isn’t. Maybe they agree only when there is no other fare, or in one specific car, or at a certain time of day. It makes sense to me that consent in one time and place cannot be assumed to be all encompassing. But if they revoke consent seconds after they affirm it, this sounds either fickle or like a careless failure to negotiate terms beforehand. It is unfortunate if one dislikes what they agree to, but I am also not certain how or why this should ethically be other people’s problem. And yes, I am speaking from personal experience! This is why I strive to be as clear and explicit as possible in my communications with people.

A few points:

  1. The gentleman is not actually smoking, he’s vaping. There is no combustion with vaping and the only output is vapor. I don’t think you can get a contact high from cannabis vapor (but you definitely can from nicotine smoke).
  2. The gentleman should have specified what he was going to be vaping. That’s just courtesy. Not everyone is as cool with cannabis as he is.
  3. The “gentleman” is not very courteous once the driver objects. He never tries to explain about how cannabis is entirely safe and how he actually uses it as a medicine. He just starts arguing with the driver as if there’s no possible way the driver’s point of view could have any legitimacy.
  4. Cannabis is one of the “safest therapeutically active substances known to man” (DEA ruling, 1988). So the driver is ignorant; he’s okay with people smoking cigarettes in his car – which contain "4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins (Source: Wikipedia) – but not cannabis. The latter has no known fatal dose; on the contrary, it can be beneficial for literally hundreds of medical conditions.
  5. Cigarette smoke is disgusting to most non-smokers, and it stinks up any car. Cannabis, on the other hand airs out quickly – probably because it doesn’t have all the toxic additives found in most cigarettes. I assume by the driver’s accent he probably hails from a country where cigarette smoking is much more widely accepted than it is in the U.S.
  6. Given that the driver is ignorant about cannabis (probably a result of years of brainwashing and lies from most of the world’s governments) it’s understandable, if regrettable, that he kicked the guy out of his car.

Conclusion: What could have been a teachable moment for both of them instead devolved into the “gentleman” getting kicked out for using a perfectly safe botanical medicine.

NOTE: Edited to change #1 since I can’t find any science on the contents of exhaled cannabis vapor. Certainly, the vapor may contain other non-healthy ingredients but nowhere near the toxicity of cigarette smoke.


Citation needed. Please include medical studies with chemical half-life measured through urine or blood testing. Thank you in advance.


for those not in the know ‘Gentleman’ is Boing Boing code for ‘idiot’