Question of the Day: Is Pot Smoke a Good Signal?

From a reader named Ben Doty:

Quick question that may benefit from an economist’s perspective, possibly relating to complimentary goods, signaling, expertise, and education:

If you walk into a surf shop and the stench of marijuana nearly knocks you over, does that make you more or less likely to purchase surfing lessons there?

What do you say, readers? I have never been in a surf shop myself; I have, however, been in the pro shop at various golf courses and I can tell you that I have never once smelled marijuana there.

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  1. Mike says:

    I’ve had a similar experience in Hawaii. Took a lesson from some kid who was a complete meathead. Was a small family operation and clearly only the matriarch had any interest in running a business. The kid sure knew how to surf but he sucked at teaching.
    I don’t care for weed but I also don’t care who smokes it. That said anyone who would allow their business to smell of it isn’t a place I would support.
    Finally Ben, what a lame assumption you’ve made here. Surfers today are doctors, lawyers, yoga instructors, students, finance-douches, and yes, Jeff Spicoli types.
    Maybe the better question is; if you enjoy weed, would you be more inclined to take a lesson from a fellow smoker?

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  2. Larry says:

    Shouldn’t the word be “complementary” rather than “complimentary”?

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    • Tracy says:

      I think you’re right, Larry.
      “Complimentary”: Free toke with lesson!
      ‘Complementary” = “goes with”, as in complementary colors. Pot by reputation (according to the original querent) “goes with” surfing. So an authentic surf shop should smell of it.

      Or, the smell of marijuana is meant to stupefy you into signing up. You’re buying under the influence. (That was my first impression of the question.)
      I think that those who do doobage are not as likely to show up for scheduled appointments. That, or they are taking it for chronic pain. Either way, you could do better elsewhere.

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  3. Yo UNcle says:

    No matter the the class of man and no matter his worth..each has their vice! You may smell marijuana/green in a small comer spot off the beach, cool type atmosphere! You can bet there is plenty of alcohol/booze to go around a good many times at your local golf club! And being that most clubs have affluent members…green and booze ain’t enough plus those are very loud! Catty #2 has candy/girl/buggahsuga/COCAINE/b!t~#!!! Open your eyes at self and respect those who do the same! RESPECT! #highwheniwrotethisblaze1

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  4. Afrojive says:

    I would be worried if I didn’t smell pot at a surf shop.

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  5. oodood says:

    I asked my daughters (age 20,26). They immediately responded, “Yes.”

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  6. Steve Cebalt says:

    This seems to be a front for a retail drug dealing operation. The surf shop may give them some legitimacy with the IRS, but what they may really be selling is weed, with a little surfing gear and surfing lessons on the side to launder the drug money.

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  7. aledil says:

    I, for one, would not likely take surfing lessons, especially not if I were influenced by marijuana (directly, that is). But if I were to walk into a surf shop, and that surf shop had that dank comfortable aroma of the good stuff floating around, then I would certainly feel a gooooood vibe, thus probably positively influencing my decisions within said shop.

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