Medical marijuana user fighting strata ban

Maple Ridge woman will make human rights complaint


A Maple Ridge woman is preparing for a legal battle with her strata over a cannabis smoking ban.

Tammy Gadsby said a new strata bylaw passed in the spring infringes on her human rights, because she needs medicinal marijuana to relieve numerous symptoms.

Gadsby said the strata should not have the right to tell her what she can do inside her unit.

“In your own suite… I just can’t understand how people think they should have control over other people’s lives.”

Gadsby has lived for 16 years in Fraserview Village on 116th Avenue, and she owns her unit. She lives with her 91-year-old mother, and refuses to sell and leave.

Instead, she is taking a complaint to the Civil Resolution Tribunal which resolves strata property disputes. On Monday, July 15, she will make a complaint to the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

She didn’t like smoking pot for most of her life, and said her partner’s puffing may have even contributed to the breakdown of an earlier relationship.

But she suffers from mental illness, including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety. She also has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, that leaves here with pain and “pins and needles.”

“I’ve been through the ringer.”

For 49 years, she tried a number of prescription drugs before turning to cannabis. She said the increasing social acceptance of the drug, leading to legalization of recreational marijuana, brought her to read the research, and then try it.

Gadsby said it has replaced two prescriptions she had been taking – an opioid and benzodiasapine.

She had suffered side effects, including a loss of appetite and nausea.

“I can go days without food. I would drink Ensure, and hope it stayed down,” she said.

“There was always that fear of addiction, and I don’t have that with cannabis.”

She said cannabis relieves her symptoms almost instantly. She has a healthy appetite which leads to improved health.

“I’m using this medicinally,” she said. “The benefits I get from it is more than any traditional medicine.

“It’s the most success I’ve had in treatment, and I’m so afraid to lose it.”

Gadsby has always smoked inside her apartment, and is continuing to do so.

“Nobody knew I smoked it. I had to tell them, and I’ve been smoking since 2015.”

READ ALSO: Should smoking be banned in condos? This B.C. mom and 17,000 others say yes

Gadsby said she was “outed” as a user of medical marijuana at a strata meeting when her questions were read aloud.

She has asked the strata to be “grandfathered,” as the new non-smoking rules prohibit smoking anywhere on the property. Or, an exception for her could be made on medical grounds.

The strata responded by requesting health information.

Gadsby said that strata council members are volunteer policy setters for the building, not medical people, and not entitled to her personal medical information.

“If they need to, they can see my prescription.”

She has tried vaping, but finds it difficult to get the right “dosage.” Edibles do not give her the same effect as smoking.

The strata president has not returned calls from reporters.

A lawyer for the strata, Eric Mollema, has told other media the strata told Gadsby’s lawyer it will consider exempting her from the bylaw. But it requires documents including written confirmation from a board-certified medical practitioner that Gadsby has a prescription, detailed her medical conditions, and explained why traditional medicines are not the preferred treatment.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pride flags stolen from Maple Ridge church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Golden Ears United reverend

Rescue puppies from Taiwan fill local families’ homes with love and hope

Pitt Meadows realtor investing time in introducing rescue puppies to their forever homes

Whonnock man tried but could not save victim of Maple Ridge fire

Michel Lefebvre was among many who attempted to enter the burning building

Maple Ridge musician’s newest album about “unrequitedness”

Rob Taylor released Passionate Crime earlier this year

Three-year-old takes selfless steps to raise funds in honour of his brother

A Maple Ridge family holds strong together as a family unit through a tough year

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read