Smell of cannabis is driving estate residents mad - but police and council say they can't act

COUNCIL tenants in Axminster are complaining their houses are being infiltrated by the whiff of cannabis.

COUNCIL tenants in Axminster are complaining their houses are being infiltrated by the whiff of cannabis.

Residents from the Millwey Rise estate claim another tenant is creating a stink by smoking the strong-scented substance.

But police and council officials say they are powerless to act.

One resident, who does not wish to be named, said: "I'm just getting to the end of my tether and want to move out.

"I've been staying at a friend's house because of the smell.

"It's a vile smell and I have to hang air fresheners to try to kill the smell.

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"It's going to affect my health."

He said he had complained to the police and council several times.

A police spokesman said: "It's very unpleasant for the complainants to have to put up with that but, unfortunately, someone smoking cannabis in their own home is not something that we would routinely obtain a warrant for."

An East Devon District Council spokesman said they would take action where there was a conviction, either for possession with intent to supply drugs, or where the premises are being used for 'illegal or immoral purposes'. She said: "In the case of the allegations made by one tenant against another, it would not be appropriate for us to comment until evidence of such an allegation became apparent or a conviction was secured in the magistrates' court."

Councillor Douglas Hull said he did not have major concerns over people smoking the drug in their home, as opposed to flouting it in public, but felt any bad smell should be dealt with.

He said: "Whether it is council or private property, I would not like to see people indulging to the extent this person seems to be. If the smell is penetrating to other houses, it's wrong.

"It's on the same level as garbage, or cat or dog faeces smell, going through properties, I feel that the district council ought to have something to say about this situation."

The Herald spoke to the alleged perpetrator, who would not comment on whether or not he was smoking cannabis.

He said he had made mistakes in the past, but was trying to turn his life around. He added he was considering moving to be with his family.