I'll be flying to Japan and I'm staying at a friend's house before my flight to save money on lodging. I already knew but completely forgot about the fact that she smokes cannabis and now I'm worried about the stench sticking to my suitcases and/or their contents. They don't seem to smell of anything yet but my puny human nose can't possibly compare to a trained dog's. She usually smokes 1 joint at night in a well ventilated room and I've only been staying with her for 3 days, if that matters at all.

Supposing that the suitcases did in fact catch the smell, will this be a problem when arriving at the airport in Japan? I've never smoked anything and it's not as if customs will find something in my suitcase, but I'm worried about any possible problems like wasting hours and hours at the airport while they turn my luggage upside down a dozen times.

Would I be better off renting in some other place before my flight to let the smell dissipate or is it one of those things that stays there for months?

  • 1
    I don't know if you are travelling from the US or from other relatively permissive country to weed. But, it might be that you trigger an alarm and they ask you where you were staying. Are you comfortable disclosing your friend's address?
    – Pierre B
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 17:48
  • 1
    I'm flying from Latin America, which might be a problem given its infamy as a drug producer. I wouldn't outright state her name and address if possible, but I'd be fine with mentioning the city.
    – Ars
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


It's likely to be an inconvenience, but it's unlikely to be a major problem. Cursory Customs checks including opening bags on arrival are common, but while the inspector is unlikely to notice any smell, they are on occasion (but not always) accompanied by drug dogs who may indeed pick up on the scent. However, if there are no actual drugs or other contraband in your bag, they have no reason to detain you, and it never took me more than a few minutes to get through, even back when I was a suspicious long-haired student.

If you're already staying at your friend's place there it's a bit late, but next time keep your suitcase away from any smoke by sealing it in a large plastic bag (eg. trashcan liner). But since it is late, airing it out well (say, on the balcony) is probably your best bet. A quick scrub with water and soap would not hurt either.

Last but not least, if they do find any actual drugs, no matter how minute the amount, you're in for a world of pain: Japanese law specifies up to 5 years in jail for simple possession, and people have ended up doing hard time because they forgot a joint in a back pocket.


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