An Auckland state house tenant has escaped eviction for growing and smoking marijuana for pain relief.
Ida Murrie, 61, was arrested last year for growing cannabis in her Housing New Zealand (HNZ) home.
Ms Murrie struggles to walk. She said she was in constant pain and cannabis provided relief.
Police charged her and HNZ started proceedings to evict her. The housing agency said it did not tolerate illegal activity in its properties.
Before before her meeting with HNZ last week, Ms Murrie suspected the agency would finalise her eviction and she would end up on the street.
“I’m 61, I’m an invalid, I’ve got heaps of health problems,” she told RNZ just before the meeting.
“I’ve been there 20 years – never had a complaint, always paid my rent, always kept the place tidy and they’re treating me like some sort of demon.
“They’re kicking me out, they’re giving me 90 days and I’ve got nowhere to go. I get $108 a week – what the hell am I going to do?”
Ms Murrie said she needed two knee replacements. Her ankles and hips were shot, the bones in her legs twisted. Marijuana helped her cope with the pain, she said.
Peter King from the Tenants Protection Association had said he would call on HNZ to show Ms Murrie “some humanity”, but he too thought she had zero chance of being allowed to stay.
“She’s not a criminal, if you have a look at her you’ll see the pain that she’s in.”
HNZ tenancy manager Neil Adams would not allow RNZ to attend or record the meeting, despite Ms Murrie giving permission.
When she emerged 20 minutes later, Mr Murrie said the agency had changed its mind about kicking her out.
“It went a lot better than I thought it was going to go,” she said.
She could stay “as long as I give them a guarantee there will be no illegal activities or smoking of drugs on the property or growing or anything like that and they’ll do three monthly inspections for a year”.
Peter King suspected RNZ’s interest in the story played a role in the change of heart.
“I think it had a major impact,” he said.
“I’ve got to say thank you to Housing New Zealand – you did the right thing and you should be proud of yourselves.
“Neil Adams, you did the right thing… showing mercy and compassion.”
Ms Murrie faces one charge of cultivating cannabis.
She said she would approach her doctor about accessing a form of medical marijuana legally, but was not sure she could afford it.
HNZ was asked for comment and said it may be able to provide a statement today.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Auckland Woman Ida Murrie Faced Charges But Escaped Eviction For Medicinal Marijuana
Author: Benedict Collins
Contact: (04) 474 1999
Photo Credit: Benedict Collins
Website: Radio New Zealand