Marijuana Legalization

We had a sitter that was recorded on our exterior camera smoking what appears to be marijuana in our backyard. It’s legal in our state but I wouldn’t have been comfortable with it. Are there rules on drug use. This guy lost track of my cat and locked him out all night. I terminated the sit and now he blasted me on feedback. I didn’t see that expectation in code of conduct or terms, unless I missed it.

Any thoughts?

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Welcome @Xowahoo -

As you have told us that smoking marijuana is legal in your state - Did your listing and welcome pack state that you only wanted non- smokers ?

Could you explain what you mean by “

We’re you watching him on the external cameras during the sit ?

I am just trying to understand the whole story before commenting.


In my experience, the only way you can tell if a cigarette is marijuana is by the smell so I am not sure what you mean by ‘It appeared to be’

Its a tricky one but my initial reaction to the info we have is to side with the guy. He may have made an honest mistake locking your cat out. , If you reacted to his mistake by terminating the sit ( what does that mean?) then he may feel that you overreacted which is why he wasn’t happy and responded in the way he did to your review. Did he know about the cameras?

For future, you may want to note in your listing yours is a smoke free home and property, which means no cigarettes, vapes or drugs of any sort, inside or out.


THS doesn’t condone illegal use, I’m sure. That doesn’t apply in this case though.

HOs/PPs often cite their rules and preferences. Sometimes that means “vegan cooking only” and sometimes it means “no drug use, including alcohol, on premises, legal or not.”

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Sitters can get “high” on many different substances, most commonly alcohol, which might alter their sensibility. Prescription drugs are also a potential problem.

It seems that the issue here is that the cat got locked out all night. That is terrible, and I am sorry that happened to your cat, and that you felt that you had to intervene while you were away.

If marijuana is legal, and you did not forbid smoking outside of your home, then it is no worse than drinking alcohol or taking prescription sedatives while taking care of your home and pets. Again, it boils down to good communication about expectations on all sides!


This. Even if you see a correlation between smoking something that “appears” to be marijuana and the cat getting locked out, they are separate issues.

I also live in a state where pot is legal, and my profile clearly states no smoking of any kind, including vaping. I can’t do anything about sitters smoking elsewhere, and there are a variety of edibles available so there’s that. For me it’s because of the smell - not just when I return, but I don’t want complaints from neighbors in my building.


Another element to consider in this scenario:

THS allows external cameras, but if prospective sitters read that you watched him on recorded video in the yard, that might creep out some folks and make it harder for you to get sitters.


If you didn’t request no smoking outdoors, I don’t think the sitter did anything wrong by smoking weed outside. If you don’t want sitters to use any drugs (smoking, edibles, etc), you could be more specific.

. Like others have mentioned, the fact that you were watching the sitter is unsettling. Maybe you only watched to look for clues to your absent cat but you haven’t mentioned that.

It is possible that being high caused him to be careless with the cat, but that could happen with someone drinking too much also. It’s a hard one to legislate for.


@belluca Great points! I hate all smoking and wish all of it was illegal everywhere, but I am just one person!

The original poster seemed to be correlating the smoking behavior to the cat getting locked out, but maybe I missed something there. I will have to read it again.

Really helpful info folks. I did not specify smoke-free. So that was a gap in our house info. The Ring camera observation of his smoking was incidental to trying to locate the cat. And the carelessness and lack of trust drove the termination. Cat refused to come in or near him after the lockout. I appreciate the feedback very informative.


I understand how you feel. Even if marijuana is legal, your home means your rules. Plus, losing track of your cat is a big problem. It’s essential to tell sitters your rules clearly, including no drug use. Maybe update your guidelines for future sitters. About the bad feedback, explain your side calmly and honestly. Stay professional, even if the other person isn’t. This helps show others that you handle things well.

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