By Tim Moen
I recently sat down to talk with Keith Gall who is a disabled Multiple Sclerosis patient who has a federal license to grow medical marijuana. Recently a green team including police, Calgary city inspectors and an Alberta Health Services (AHS) inspector came calling and AHS issued an order that would cost Keith over $30,000 to comply with. The reason..."suspicion of mold" because he has a humid room which grows plants. Never mind that there was zero evidence of any mold, never mind that zero moisture was found in walls, never mind that there is a higher probability of finding mold behind the drywall of any bathroom, never mind that there is no clear evidence that mold represents a health risk except to a small subset of sensitive individuals.
With this standard of "I feel suspicious" it seems there is nothing stopping Alberta Health from issuing the same expensive order the minute Mr. Gall complies and starts the grow op again. Mayor Nenshi is on record expressing his desire to shut down these legal grow ops citing a public nuisance. With talk of state controlled cannabis production and distribution by "progressive" politicians like Kathleen Wynne and/or the crony capitalist model the Conservatives were leaning towards during their term it seems clear that legalization will be a far cry from the relative freedom offered by jurisdictions like Colorado. It seems clear that people on the margins, people like Keith Gall, will continue to suffer from state oppression.
Alberta Health Services has been ordered by a judicial tribunal to find a more reasonable solution to the alleged problem of public nuisance that they believe Mr. Galls grow op represents. We will be following this story closely.