Cara MacFarlane, of South Wigston, UK, was taken to court and fined after her neighbors complained about a potent marijuana smell coming from her home. She had been issued a Community Protection Notice in March 2020 by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council in a bid to solve the issue after her neighbors found the odor unbearable. The notice required MacFarlane to ensure “no offensive or noxious fumes or odors–including all such smells linked to the use of unlawful substances–escaped from the property such as to cause nuisance or annoyance to others in the vicinity.”
She must have had a heap of joints and blunt wraps in rotation for her neighbors to smell such a strong odor of cannabis coming from her property. Nonetheless, three months after the notice was given, the council received 35 more reports of marijuana smells from the 26-year-old’s residence, in Park Road. The authority said that after repeated attempts, advice, warnings, and offers of support in addressing the drug misuse, all of which were ignored by MacFarlane, it decided to prosecute.
The court hearing, which was delayed due to the pandemic, took place at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 5. Oadby and Wigston Borough Council’s Head of Law & Democracy, David Gill, said, “This case represents the first known successful prosecution brought in Leicestershire for a breach of a Community Protection Notice concerning the impacts of drug use from a residential dwelling, emphasizing the seriousness of being issued with such a notice which should not be ignored.” During her absence, the 26-year-old was found guilty and fined €180 in costs, ordered to pay Oadby and Wigston Borough Council €180, and a victim surcharge of €34.
Although MacFarlane failed to attend, this case shines a heavy light on not only the consequences of not following the residential compliance laws but also how difficult it can be for cannabis users and non-cannabis users to coexist in a residential setting.