A Mission woman has penned a letter to Mayor Paul Horn, claiming the city has a weed-stench issue and bylaw officers need to crack down on cannabis odour.
Lynne Christensen claims that since marijuana has been legalized, its “awful stench” is creating issues for multiple local residents, who are forced to keep their windows closed when a neighbour chooses to light up.
“It is pervasive, ghastly and affects one’s health,” Christensen said. “Our own garden suddenly becomes off limits. We do not want to breathe this substance, nor do we want our health affected by secondhand smoke from this mind-altering drug.”
She adds the “noxious” stink wafts everywhere in the city’s downtown, creates an uninviting shopping experience, and could potentially drive away small businesses and people considering a move to Mission.
Driving through many neighbourhoods in the city will leave your vehicle stinking of pot, according to Christensen.
Mission’s bylaw department has informed Christensen that they are unable to make residents stop stinking up their neighbours’ properties, she said.
Christensen said that’s not true, and provided a Health Canada quote stating they encourage “all provinces, territories, and municipalities to use the tools at their disposal” to enforce bylaws.
“This includes … nuisances, such as odour, that they feel are appropriate in their jurisdictions.”
She requested that council enact a resolution to confirm Mission’s existing noxious odour bylaw to include cannabis stink, and send a letter to their local MLAs and MP reiterating the need to enforce noxious odour bylaws.
“What other residents of Mission do inside their own homes is their business. However, when the skunk-like stench and secondhand smoke from drugs drifts into others’ living spaces and properties, this uninvited intrusion affects their health, well-being and ability to enjoy their homes,” Christensen said.
The letter was addressed by Mission council on Oct. 5. Mayor Paul Horn said the legal opinion is that staff will be only be able to act if the smell is “more substantial and consistent than usual,” adding that’s currently hard to define.
He asked staff to follow up, but the neighbour will unfortunately be burdened with keeping track of the issue.
“(We’ll) probably have more conversations in the coming year, asking the federal government … to do a review of what’s working, what’s not working, and I think this is just one of those issues.”