Is smoking marijuana on stream against Twitch’s TOS?

A touchy subject, but there is a clear answer.

Image via Twitch

Twitch has taken a hard stance against the use of illegal drugs on its platform in its Community Guidelines. If you use an illegal drug, you will be reported and banned. While a drug like marijuana may seem to be against the rules at first glance, recent changes to the law have made marijuana use more controversial.

Although marijuana was illegal when Twitch was founded by Justin.tv in 2011, U.S. states began legalizing its use in 2012. The use of marijuana is still illegal federally, even though it is legal in 19 states, including the district of Columbia, so this can be confusing.

Though Twitch has made some exceptions to its illegal drug rule for marijuana use, that doesn’t mean viewers won’t unjustly report you for using illegal substances. Generally, you can win a case if you can smoke on your stream and fall under the exceptions, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

To determine if you are eligible for an exception, first find out what the marijuana laws are in your state.

Can you smoke weed while streaming on Twitch?

Yes, as long as marijuana is legal in your state for recreational use, you can smoke it on your stream. In 2018, after California legalized marijuana purchases, Snoop Dogg famously smoked a blunt in front of his viewers. For a time, this sparked controversy since Twitch did not take action against him, but a Twitch representative told Polygon that Twitch encourages people to follow the laws of their country and states. This set a precedent for smoking marijuana in states that have legalized its recreational use.

Setting your stream to “mature audience only” is an important rule for smoking on stream. Smoking on a stream may be okay in your state, but it’s unclear how Twitch feels about you smoking marijuana in front of minors. Smoking is an activity you can only do if you are over 21, so if you are underage or if your viewers are underage and you haven’t warned them, you are likely to face consequences.

Do not use harmful methods to smoke. You can also drink on Twitch, but Twitch has made it clear that it does not want alcohol consumed in streams to cause harm, so the same could be said of marijuana. You can get in trouble with Twitch if you go overboard with it, if you start to act irrationally, or even if you use each donation as an excuse to hit a blunt (drinking games involving donations are frowned upon and can get you banned). The best thing to do is to just smoke normally, without causing a fuss about it.

Finally, if your state only permits the medicinal use of marijuana, make sure you know exactly how you obtained it. Keep your marijuana card nearby, with the sensitive information hidden, so you can remind your fans that you use marijuana legally. You may still have some people flagging you since it’s technically illegal in your state, but at least you can show Twitch that you took precautions.

What states can you smoke weed while streaming?

It is always a good idea to double-check your state’s laws, but the following states permit smoking marijuana:

  • Alabama (Medicinal use only)
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas (Medicinal use only)
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware (Medicinal use only)
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida (Medicinal use only)
  • Hawaii (Medicinal use only)
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana (Medicinal use only)
  • Maine
  • Marland (Medicinal use only)
  • Massachusettes
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota (Medicinal use only)
  • Mississippi (Medicinal use only)
  • Missouri (Medicinal use only)
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire (Medicinal use only)
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota (Medicinal use only)
  • Ohio (Medicinal use only)
  • Oklahoma (Medicinal use only)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania (Medicinal use only)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota (Medicinal use only)
  • Utah (Medicinal use only)
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia (Medicinal use only)