There is a significant gap in the degree of concern regarding these issues between people who currently use cannabis (or who intend to do so once it becomes legal) and those who will abstain post-legalization. Non-users represent about three-quarters of adults in the GTA.
As one might expect, non-users are much more likely than current and would-be users to be very or somewhat concerned about issues related to home growing. Still, even among users, the proportion who express concern about these potential impacts of home growing is significant: almost half of those who will be using cannabis once it becomes legal are conscious of, and concerned about, how home growing will impact their day-to-day lives.
Given that significant proportions of both groups – users and non-users – expect at least some trouble to result from home growing, municipal officials may be faced with a significant increase in the number of complaints if the proposed policy becomes a reality.
Municipalities in most parts of Canada will have to figure out how to navigate situations where neighbours’ complaints about cannabis odour compete with residents’ right to grow their own plants. It is quite likely that bylaw enforcement and other staff will face increased demands if public concerns about crime and property damage come to pass as Canadians cultivate plants at home.
At the local level, striking a balance between managing the complaints and concerns of residents in a way that does not unduly burden municipal resources may prove a difficult task.