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‘Nasal Ranger’ patrols for pot smells in Denver

DENVER — One man uses a secret weapon to make sure the smell of marijuana doesn’t overpower local neighborhoods.

Cultivating marijuana has the potential to make growers a lot of money. But growing it, even with special filtration systems, can emit a skunky smell that spreads for blocks.

Certified odor observer Ben Siller’s job is to check out odor complaints the city of Denver receives.

“When medical marijuana first started that was some of the calls we were getting is these facilities were coming in to places and they never had that odor before,” Siller said.

The city calls Siller to investigate when it gets several pot odor complaints at the same time.

“Call me ‘Nasal Ranger’ or the ‘Smeller Dude,’” he said.

He has a device that looks a little bit like a radar gun that can measure the exact ratio of clean, non-odorous air to the amount coming in from smells.

While the city grapples with how and when you can light up pot, Siller expects to keep the peace for families like Karyn Wingard-Manuel’s.

“If someone is doing it out on the front porch and my kids are around, it would definitely bother me and after a while I would maybe call it in,” she said.

Even with the nasal ranger’s sensitive device, recording a violation around homes is a rare occurrence.

“If need be, we’ll go out and contact the party, let them know that a complaint has been filed even though there isn’t a violation and we’ll let them know that perhaps there’s some way they can work it out,” Siller said.

Now that anyone who buys recreational marijuana can just fire it up, the complaints for the nasal ranger to investigate may increase dramatically.

21 comments

  • Zach

    Get a real job you clown. People gotta put up with the smell of cigarette smoke everyday of the week and you don’t see this idiot with his stupid robot nose patrolling the streets. People just need to learn to just deal with it because it’s never going away.

  • Desperate for a news story

    Really? Because your real nose doesn’t work? If you don’t like the smell of marijuana then move to Texas. The people have voted, it’s time to pull your heads out of the sand and accept it. A dead skunk smells like weed, can I cal the sniff cop for that? Are you sure it’s not a skunk?

  • Kimberly

    “…let them know that a complaint has been filed even though there isn’t a violation…” Uh…How about they go fight crime instead?

  • harry hopkins

    What happened to people just minding thier own business? This dudes life is so pathetic that he has to stock his nose in other peoples. Imaginw I’d he put his time into something that acctually mattered.

  • John

    Who pays for this nonsense? Maybe we need to petition government spending once again or have FOX investigate who pays for this C R A P.

  • Greg

    Yes clearly this is a big culture change if stupid ideas like this are in the news. The people next to you smoking pot now are the same people who will be smoking it in January. People who don’t smoke will have the awesome option of edibles which don’t make your house smell like weed but give the same effect. This will be a total non issue and this guy has way to much time on his hands

  • Lia Cooperson

    it would be a non issue if our business wasn’t on the same block as no less than four growing facilities. Our clients comment or ask about it every single day, “you have skunks around here? Did someone hit a skunk near here? It smells like a skunk out there!” It’s the growing facilities this guy will be mostly investigating, not the stoner living next door. That having been said, I rarely smell it even when my clients claim to…

  • victor

    Can the nasal ranger come to Lakewood? Lighting up a cigarette or a joint is a 15 minute stinky smell. But when a neighbor in a townhouse has a dispensory which smells up the other tenants homes for hours, this should not be allowed.

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