I’m Tired of Smelling Weed in My Classes

It’s always been a problem, but it never used to be every day.

Matthew Thiele
2 min readOct 4, 2022


A smokestack throwing up a plume of smoke or steam.
Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash

I am not a prude, a cop, or a rat, and I don’t have any interest in getting anyone in trouble over this. But I am a teacher. Students who bring the smell of weed into a class make my job harder, and they’re not doing themselves any favors.

When students bring the smell of marijuana into my classroom, they are taking something that should be their business, their consumption of drug, and making it everyone’s business. I don’t care to know that some of my students choose to get loaded in the stairwell right before they come to class at 9 a.m.

I don’t want to hear that it’s harmless. I am supposed to be sensitive to the ways that students can harm themselves, and students who smoke weed right before class are abusing it and themselves.

They’re also harming their classmates. Bringing the smell of weed into a classroom is disruptive and disrespectful to sober classmates who are there to learn. It is an unwelcome and obnoxious distraction.

Marijuana impairs a student’s ability to learn. Sometimes students can barely speak when they get to class. Sometimes they can barely stand.

The most bewildering aspect of this all for me is how wasteful it is. My cannabis enthusiasts could stay home and enjoy whatever it is they like about smoking weed in comfortable, familiar surroundings, but they decide to waste their precious time by coming to class, and it’s not really clear to me why they would bother. Some teachers require students to have their asses in a seat, but I don’t record attendance anymore, so there is no immediate penalty for not attending.

Every student I teach is paying thousands of dollars a semester to take classes, and my weed abusers risk smoking all of that away. Even the Wu-Tang Clan knows that there has to be some kind of limit:

You can’t party your life away, drink your life away,
smoke your life away, fuck your life away…
— Wu-Tang Clan, “A Better Tomorrow”

If you’re a student who gets high before every class, please stop. If you can’t stop, please get help. I’m tired of smelling weed in my classes.



Matthew Thiele

Teacher. Satirist. Scholar. Published in Slackjaw, Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Ben Jonson Journal, and elsewhere. Definitely not a robot. Or an alien.