It’s probably the first case of many. In the new age of legalized cannabis, there are going to be plenty of conflicts between those who do use marijuana, and those who don’t.
The legalization date of Oct. 17 is fast approaching, and for some, how legal cannabis use is approached can be a matter of life and death.
Take this case: Adele Schroder lives in a condominium in Mississauga, Ont. She has a potentially deadly allergy to cannabis, and, as she pointed out to the CBC, she’s suddenly finding life in her building more risky: “Now that it’s becoming legal it’s leaking into the hallways, getting into the ventilation system. I can’t control my environment.”
The bigger problem for Schroder clearly comes with October’s legalization.
The condominium board for her building is looking into banning smoking and growing cannabis, and then another issue raised its head: that a number of residents in the building are medical marijuana users, and the board could be affecting their human rights if it tried to ban cannabis use. (To make matters worse, an injury from an automobile accident has meant that Schroder doesn’t have the financial means to sell her condo and buy a new one, even if she wanted to.)
That means the whole thing comes down to duelling sets of human rights: what happens when one condo owner’s right to safely enjoy her home comes up against the rights of other to use a medical product that’s been prescribed to them?
The answer seems simple enough from a common sense point of view; the argument probably should come down to the active versus the passive.
What does that mean?
Well, that those who do use marijuana — even those who use it medicinally — should be responsible for mitigating the impacts created by their own consumption.
Schroder doesn’t get that choice. She’s not doing anything, other than living in her own condominium. Her actions are not imposing on others; her actions do not impact them directly, the way marijuana use by others would affect her.
It’s particularly complicated because condominium rules and regulations, by and large, have been drawn up long before legalization was contemplated.
All in all, it’s turned into a fascinating ride for the condominium board, which is now trying to find a solution that works for everyone.
One thing the whole saga illustrates, though, is the huge sea change that legalizing cannabis creates. There are going to be collisions between neighbours and friends and their human rights that have probably not even been considered yet.
“I really love the community I’m in. I don’t want to limit what people are doing in their own homes,” Schroder told the CBC. “It’s really stressful.”