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His pot’s legal, but so is his eviction

By Hempology | June 17, 2003

Capital Region housing can evict man whose medical marijuaan smoke has neighbours
kicking up a stink, and moving out

From the Times Colonist, June 17, 2003

By Sandra McCulloch

A Saanich man with a medical prescription to smoke marijuana to treat his multiple
sclerosis symptoms faces eviction from a subsidized housing complex after losing a
case in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday.

Eric Young and his wife Marlene live in a
two-bedroom unit in Beechwood Park, managed by the Captial Region Housing Corporation.

Young declined to comment.

The 84-page decision of Justice Malcolm Macaulay on the Youngs’ two petitions to
B.C. Supreme Court was released Monday.

In it Macaulay said the landlord must follow its mandate of providing quality
housing to those living on low incomes. Some tenants have moved out, citing the
marijuana smell that permeates their suites.

“The evidence suggests that accomodating Mr. Young’s disability would require
the CRHC to deprive many other tenants of the enjoyment of their suites,” wrote
Macalay. “It is also likely that the CRHC would continue to lose tenants. The result
would undermine the very purpose for the CRHC’s existence, to provide quality housing,
particularly to those living at low incomes.”

Young was granted a medical prescription for marijuana in June 1999. In March 2000,
Young was given consent to grow marijuana for his needs under certain restrictions.

In December 2001, Marlene Young was granted permission to possess and produce marijuana
to help her husband treat his medical condition.

The Youngs had tow petitions before the court, the first against the Saanich police
and the Capital Regional District seeking constitutional remedies for alleged
Charter of Rights breaches interfering with their right to grow and use marijuana.
The Youngs alleged that the Saanich police were biased against them when dealing with
conflicts with neighbours because of the marijuana use.

Eric Young chose not to tell Saanich police of his exemption status and, therefore,
said Macaulay, “cannot reasonably expect that police officers will simply accept
his assertion that he has an exception and make no further enquiries.”

The Youngs thought the housing corporation was singling them out because they grew, and
Eric Young used, marijuana.

But the housing corporation said it was acting on neighbours’ complaints about
odour from the cultivation and smoking of the drug.

One neighbour complained she had two young men show up at her patio door asking to
buy marijuana.

The second petition dealt with the validity of the eviction notice.

The housing corporation is right in its request to remove the Youngs from the
complex, said Macaulay.

To force the CRHC and its tenants to tolerate Mr. Young’s marijuana smoking would,
in my view, constitute an imposition of undue hardship.”

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