City council agreed Tuesday on a list of four questions to send to Ottawa regarding medical marijuana grow-ops.
The issue had been tabled because the federal government began consultation on its proposed changes to medical marijuana regulations. But council decided Tuesday to send the list, despite the pending changes.
Coun. Nelly Dever said her intent was to get an answer back regarding the current rules, not proposed legislation.
The first question asked what steps the federal government will take to remediate the homes of people who have production licences for medical marijuana grow-ops.
While marijuana grows can cause problems with mould or electrical systems, some councillors wondered if the feds have any role in repairing people’s homes.
“A lot of those who hold licences to produce in their homes, their homes have become unsafe. Mould, electrical, etc. RCMP and fire cannot go into those homes. What are they (the federal government) going to do for the damage they've done? They've created the mess, how are they going to clean it up?” said Dever.
But some councillors felt that question was beyond the City’s scope, while Coun. Tina Lange said it makes an assumption about the licenced growers.
“We can't assume there will be problems with homes because of medical marijuana being grown there. But this question could also alert the feds that we want something done.”
Coun. Pat Wallace agreed.
“To imply everyone's house will be substandard is inaccurate. I understand some do it outside. Some have greenhouses. We shouldn't suggest everyone who grows marijuana is living in a death trap.”
The other questions concerned parameters for smoking in public and experimental research and development around medical marijuana.
Coun. Donovan Cavers added a fourth question asking what federal resources would be allocated to ensure medical marijuana users have easy access to their medication when the regulation changes take place.
“The reason for this is some people are concerned if it's limited to industrial areas their access to medical marijuana will be limited.”
All of council but two voted to add Cavers’s question to the list, and to approve sending the list to Ottawa.
Councillors Ken Christian and Pat Wallace opposed both motions.