Uber Driver Dilemma: Kick out Rider for Smelling like Weed?

I doubt if anyone reading this will know or remember the late 1960's and early 1970's (Vietnam war baby) comic series The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (and Fat Freddy's Cat), but it was a hilarious take on the hippie movement and the use of weed smoking in the US.

Well, this story is a Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Norbert the Narc story with an Uber twist. In this story Norbert the Narc is an Uber driver and the passenger, well, he's Fat Freddy, the cat was left at home to watch over the spare bong.

Let's start off with that the average Uber driver is not out to make friends, he or she is out to earn income. Uber drivers are either supplementary income drivers, which means that they have another job or purpose in life and use Uber to supplement their income sources.

Then there are the professional drivers that work full time for Uber (and probably Lyft too). These drivers do seek to be more friendly and will entertain you while driving, however, doesn't, mistake their friendliness for ignorance.

Uber Guidelines to drivers in regard to Drugs

Uber Community Guidelines strictly prohibit "bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car." While in 9 states Marijuana is legal for recreational purposes, Uber will not allow their contractors to have it smoked in their cars while driving for Uber. (Just like Uber doesn't allow you to carry a gun that is your right in the 2nd amendment)

An Uber Fart

In one instance that was reported to the press, an Uber passenger was notified by Uber that he would face "permanent account deactivation." Since he was alleged to have brought weed into an Uber car.

Mike Mulloy, the customer, tweeted this information for all to see:

"We're reaching out because we have received a claim that you may have been in possession of an illegal substance on a recent trip.


Uber has stated that they expect their drivers to follow the guidelines of all substance use in their vehicles and expects their drivers to notify them of such activities.

The Uber spokesperson stated that "We have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol for both riders and drivers. If a driver suspects a rider has drugs or alcohol, they can report it to us through in-app support."

Uber also notified the press that it does send out warning messages to suspected passengers. The spokesperson said that "For a first-time offense, we send a warning to the rider. Multiple reports of problematic behavior may result in a review of their account status."

However, in the Mike Mulloy case, he claims that he only smelled of weed, which is like smelling of cigarettes but not smoking them, although he did admit to smiling weed before getting into the car.

When the press attempted to contact Mulloy, his response was: "You don't think there's anything more important to write about."

Narcing for Uber

One of the biggest issues with Uber driving is knowing when to be right and when to be correct. In the case of weed, do you really want to be a rat? If the passenger did not smoke in the vehicle and if you are in any one of those 9 states, WTF do you care.

Bottom Line

We checked the Uber site and guessed what we found? We found that Uber does have a policy for using weed while driving, but Uber does not have a policy for passengers smelling of weed or alcohol.

As the site states, you cannot enter the car with "an open container" of weed or drugs, which implies that you can come into an Uber car with a sealed container of alcohol or drugs, so long as it is legal.

In this instance, I have to state that if everyone that came into my car smelling of weed or other substances needed to be reported I would have to stop working the night shift completely because I would need to spend most of my shift narcing to Uber.

I do agree that passengers must not smoke weed while I am driving, since weed does impair the mind from driving, as Uber states on its site "Marijuana usage impacts the skills needed to drive safely" the smell of marijuana will not make you high, but (passive) smoke will so, let's make a deal, we won't narc on smelly passengers, and we won't allow smoking in the car.