Article by CTV News
A Dartmouth, N.S., man with a physical disability is fighting for the right to smoke medicinal pot in a smoke-free apartment, as he takes his battle to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Philip Bennett, 57, was evicted from his apartment on Friday after losing several legal challenges at the provincial Residential Tenancies Board and small claims court.
That night, he slept in his motorized wheelchair out in the woods, which was made worse by the fact it was raining.
“I had to cut a garbage bag to put it over my head,” he told CTV News Atlantic.
Bennett has since taken up temporary residence at a motel, after receiving money from members of the Dartmouth’s medical cannabis community.
He was booted out of his home just three weeks before he could move into social housing.
Before receiving the eviction notice, Bennett had been the subject of complaints from other residents in the building. They had taken issue with Bennett smoking and vaping medical cannabis.
He said he knew the apartment was smoke-free. But due to a debilitating genetic condition that necessitates the use of his wheelchair, Bennett said he needs pot to alleviate some of the physical pain.
Bennett said the rule shouldn’t apply to medical cannabis users, saying, “if it was recreational marijuana, I’d respect their rights — I wouldn’t smoke it in that building.”
This was the crux of his argument when he challenged his initial eviction notice back in August with the help of legal aid.