Living in the dorms is pretty awesome in many ways: you’re surrounded by fellow freshmen who are looking for people to meet, your bed isn’t miles away from class, and there are gorgeous co-eds basically everywhere you turn. That being said, living in the dorms really sucks if you like to drink or smoke. Even though smoking is technically legal in Colorado, it’s still illegal in the dorms. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, you are unable to possess or consume weed in the dorms (in fact, CU requires that you to move out of the dorms if you actually do need to consume marijuana for medical purposes). In part one of our two-part article series, we give you tips from a former student that can help you get away with smoking in the dorms.
When it comes down to it, the hardest part of smoking in the dorms is dealing with the smoke that will inherently make your room smell like Willie Nelson’s Winnebago. These may not be fool-proof ways to counter the smell, but a combination of these techniques will certainly improve your chances of not getting caught.
1. Sploof/Smoke Buddy
A sploof is one of the easiest smoking accessories to make, and it can be pretty useful in the dorms. Sploofs are essentially homemade filters that are effective at preventing any unwanted smells from escaping your smoking area. To make a sploof, you only need an empty toilet paper roll, and a few dryer sheets (a rubber-band helps, but is not necessary). Simply stuff the empty toilet paper roll with a dozen dryer sheets, and wrap one of the sheets around an end of the cardboard cylinder. Once it’s built, simply exhale any smoke though this device, and the majority of the distinct marijuana smoke smell will be filtered through the dryer sheets. If you don’t feel like going through the process of making a sploof, or want a more lasting answer to your smelling problems, check out the Smoke Buddy, which is an industrial-grade sploof.
When smoking in the dorms, you’re going to want to give the smoke an easy escape route that doesn’t involve the hallway. This means that most likely, you’re going to want to have a fan blowing air out of your window. Preferably, you could get one of those rectangular fans that are designed to fit perfectly into a window slot (just face the fan the other way). A word of warning: make sure that there are no vents directly outside your dorm room window. I had a group of friends freshman year who got written up because their smoke was being sucked back into the building through intake vents. It took the school a few weeks, but they eventually pinned-down where the smell was originating from.
3. Be Conscious of Smoke Detectors
An easy way to bring attention to the fact that you’re smoking is to set off the building’s fire alarm. Every dorm room at CU has a fire detector in it, so find yours and tape a plastic bag around it to make sure that it doesn’t go off during your session. An important thing to note here though, is that covering up a smoke detector is against University fire codes, and you will be written up for it if an RA notices your smoke detector’s covered up. So just be sure that when you finish smoking, you remove the plastic from the detector before you forget.
4. Towel the Door
Prior to your smoke sesh, you should put your room into full lockdown. Throw a damp towel under the gap between the door and the floor, and don’t let anyone in or out once you’ve started smoking. This ensures that you at least have a little bit of a safeguard if smoke does somehow make its way into the room.
5. Ozium is Your Friend (Sort Of)
Ozium is a professional air sanitizer used by hospitals, schools, and hotels to get rid of any lingering scents. With just one small spritz, you can entirely eliminate most stenches you want gone (i.e. smoke). This should act as your last line of defense though, as the health side-effects of using Ozium in enclosed spaces aren’t entirely that great (so don’t be dumb and spray it while you’re in the room, unless it’s an emergency). Spray some of this if you plan on leaving your dorm room for any reason, just to cover your tracks. For safe measure, it’s not a bad idea to give your entire floor a few sprays of this powerful sanitizer as well (though, it might end up smelling like a nursing home).
6. Make/Burn Popcorn
If all else fails, and a cloud of smoke is slowly moving towards the door without any ozium nearby, throw a packet of popcorn in the microwave for a couple minutes too long. There’s not much on this earth more powerful than the smell of burnt popcorn, and it will almost completely mask the unwanted smell in your room.
7. Stash Spots
The most important part of this entire process is making sure that you have a quality stash spot to hide all of your goodies. It doesn’t matter how much an officer ‘thinks they smell weed’ in your room, if they can’t find any physical evidence, they got jack shit on you. Generally, I like to hide my ‘things’ in plain sight, where an officer or an RA wouldn’t think to look because they’re just so damn obvious. Somewhere like a cut-out text book or a secret compartment on a couch-side table are great spots. Can’t think of any ideas? If you have a paneled ceiling, you can remove one of the squares and throw your herbs and paraphernalia in the crawlspace above. Just make sure that you store the weed in a smell-proof container to avoid a thorough (but most likely, fruitless) search of your room. Further, if you have a safe with a key-lock, RA’s are unable to require you to open them without a warrant. If, for whatever reason, they try and convince you otherwise, you can just say that you ‘lost the key yesterday and you’re still looking for it.’
*Pro Tip: Troll Holes
One thing that many of my friends did was to create ‘troll holes’ with the lofted beds that they were given by the university. In short, they would position the lofted bed next to the window and jack it up as much as they could (with everything from professional bed raisers to text books). They would then hang a sheet off the side of their bed to build an inconspicuous little niche to smoke out of. Many would put small TV’s & N64’s in their troll holes, so that if ever discovered, they could argue that it was their “gaming room.” These troll holes worked much better than you would think, and we actually had an RA search a room once while four people were still in one of the holes, bong-in-hand.
Method of Smoking:
First things first, if you’re planning on smoking a joint or a blunt, just don’t. It’s the hardest smoke to control, and inherently makes the entire room reek of illegal activities. My freshman year, I was lucky enough to be given a 4-person dorm room with a common living area, a kitchen, a full bathroom (with shower), and two bedrooms. Because we had the living room/kitchen as a ‘smell-buffer,’ we were able to hotbox our bedrooms with blunts and joints daily just by throwing a towel under the door. That being said, this is not recommended whatsoever for the typical dorm room. Just go outside if you simply HAVE to smoke a j or blunt..
A lot of people will tell you that smoking full-fledged bongs in the dorms is a recipe for disaster, but if you’re smart about it, it’s actually not that risky. Firstly, never pack a full bowl. Whenever you smoke only part of a bowl, the cherried (still-lit) nug’s smoke will billow into the room causing all types of problems for you and your friends. Instead, only pack ‘snappers,’ or small single-hit bowls that you can pull through to the bong water. This way, all of the potentially smelly smoke will be in your lungs, giving you the power to control the level of smoke in your room/blow the smoke into a sploof/out the window. You may have to clean your bong a few more times than usual to get rid of all the nasty debris, but hey, you’re smoking bong in the dorms, so does it really matter?
Really, just follow the same rules for these as you would for a bong. Make sure that you don’t overpack the bowl, and always have a convenient and fast place to hide the paraphernalia.
Inarguably, the best way to smoke in the dorms is to vaporize the smoke. Vaporizers have quickly become affordable, compact, and energy-efficient, so it really does make sense to spend a few bucks and split a quality vaporizer with your roommate the first couple of weeks of school. When I was in the dorms, my friend had a Volcano with a six-foot bag. He’d have smoke sessions in his small one-person room almost nightly and never once got caught. The smell is much more ambiguous than burning herb with a lighter, and the paraphernalia is often very easy to store quickly if things should go wrong (my friend had his room searched only one time. The RA’s asked what the volcano was, he said it ‘was a school project’).
12. Dab Rigs
Smoking concentrates have also made it easier to smoke in the dorms and get away with it. The smell is much less recognizable, and the shatter/wax/oil is very easy to conceal. The real issue lies in the rig/torch. Obviously, rigs aren’t allowed, and if you get a knock on the door right after you’ve heated up a nail, you’re probably gonna burn a hole in something trying to hide it. Further, torches aren’t allowed in the dorms either, so you’ll have to find a nice burn-safe spot to store these tools if things go wrong.
13. Light Incense or Candles
Both incense and candles are not approved for the dorms, so if you get caught with either in your room, you’ll be written up for it.
14. Cover the Smell Up With Toast
Toasters are also illegal for dorm use, so using one to cover up the smell with also get you written up.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET CAUGHT SMOKING IN THE DORMS
15. Connect with an Attorney in Under 60 Seconds using Congo.io
Built by former CU students, Congo allows you to book an appointment with an attorney in less than 60 seconds and video chat with them for free. They’ve been dropping off cards like these MMJ Informational hand-outs at a bunch of places on The Hill recently, so keep your eye out and pick one up if you see it.
Plus, they’re just a bunch of normal kids like you and me (check out the video below if you don’t believe me!).
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