Article by Peter O’Neil,Vancouver Sun via The Provence
The federal government says it is under a legal obligation to put the rights of medicinal marijuana users ahead of the rights of property owners.
Health Canada was responding to criticism from a Coquitlam woman who said she incurred $135,000 in repair costs, caused by mould and damage to her rental property’s electrical system, due to a grow-op in the basement she discovered last year.
She said she was the victim of a $20,000-a-month commercial grow-up run by someone operating with two Health Canada licenses, giving them permission to grow a limited amount of pot for personal use. She had no knowledge of the grow op nor had she given her consent for it to be operated on her property.
And she says new government regulations, brought in last month in response to a Federal Court of Canada decision, will lead to more victims whose rental properties might be severely damaged.
“I don’t want this to happen to other property owners,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
But Health Canada, which took several days to reply to questions about her plight, issued a statement late Thursday indicating that the government’s hands are tied.
A number of court rulings, including the Federal Court decision in February involving four B.C. plaintiffs seeking the right to grow their own weed, have forced the government’s hand.
That decision struck down a 2013 attempt by the former Conservative government to require medicinal pot users to buy from government-sanctioned companies rather than grow their own.