Q: Living in a medical marijuana state and being an avid backpacker leaves me in a quandary. Do you like the smell of my medicine, or is it natural enough to not pique your fancy? —RTH, via email
A: Is it a coincidence that 14 of the 16 states that allow medical marijuana have swaths of bear country? Why did Jerry Garcia and Co. choose an image of me dancing to promote the dead on t-shirts and bumper stickers everywhere? Alls I'm sayin' is I'm sensing a connection, here, man...
All right, back to the real, bro. Though there aren't very many case studies establishing my attraction to cannabis, it's probably fair to say that I could be attracted to the smell of your wacky tobacky. While you are right that it exists in my natural environment, many strains of dried and processed pot often possess an even stronger, more intense fragrance than the variety growing in the wild. If I can smell a dollop of toothpaste in your bag or leftover chocolate on a wrapper, I can most certainly detect a whiff of your super-odoriferous Afghan Kush.
While we're not certain that the smell serves as an attractant, don't take the chance: Stow it with all your food items at night in a canister or bear bag, and try to opt for a wake-and-bake over hotboxing overnight in the tent.
Got a question for the bear? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.