VANCOUVER B.C. (CN) – Residents of the affluent Vancouver suburb of Langley claim the township’s Controlled Substance Bylaw is unconstitutional, because it allows police to search property without a warrant on suspicion that homeowners are growing marijuana based solely on high energy consumption.
Karen Probert, Matthew Black and Tammy Rosin claim in B.C. Supreme Court that, “under threat of serious consequences,” they had to consent to searches of their properties. While no marijuana was actually found in the searches, except a trace amount allegedly found inside a vacuum cleaner in Black’s workshop building, city and police inspectors claimed that there was “significant evidence” indicating that the petitioners’ properties had recently housed marijuana grow operations. In Rosin’s case, according to the petition, she has a Health Canada exemption allowing her to grow medicinal marijuana, but was only storing growing equipment at the time of the search.
After the inspections were finished, officials then billed the petitioners about $5,000 for the cost of the inspection team’s visit.
The city of Coquitlam, another Vancouver suburb, along with the federal and provincial governments and the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority were sued in a class action earlier this year for a similar bylaw allowing warrantless entry into homes suspected of housing marijuana-growing operations.
Probert, Black and Rosin are represented by Kirk Tousaw of Conroy & Co.