Condo Living and Cannabis: A Complex Human Rights Issue

Published on September 20, 2018


The condo board of Applewood Place in Mississauga, ON. is currently facing a complex issue regarding the spread of cannabis smoke, and one resident’s deadly allergy. As cannabis approaches legalization on October 17th, a concerned and allergic resident, Adele Schroder, has noticed that cannabis smoke is already leaking into the hallways and the ventilation system; presenting her with a serious health risk.


After Schroder raised the issue of the pot smoke, it was discovered that there are medical marijuana users living in the building - posing a competing human rights issue. Both Schroder and the medical users have a right to be kept away from cannabis smoke and to continue their carrying out their prescription respectively, however Ryan Edmonds, a human rights lawyer in Toronto, says there should be a win-win solution where both parties are free to continue safely without infringing on one another.


Schroder has several measures to maintain the purity of the air in her apartment. She carries an EpiPen with her at all times, she puts towels under the door to prevent intruding smoke, she runs two air purifiers, and she never uses her balcony or common areas for fear of smoke exposure.


The condo board is looking for different options to satisfy both parties, including: banning smoking on the floors above and below, making structural changes to the building, and exploring edible or oil alternatives for the medical marijuana using residents.


Considering this importance of this issue, our recommendation to condo boards is to conduct an air tightness test on the units that are being affected, and following the path of recommendations found in the report. This could include compartmentalizing their condo units - helping to reduce smoke in undesired areas.

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