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What can I do if my neighbours are smoking Cannabis?

Is smoking cannabis illegal?

Cannabis is a Class B controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 . As such, it is unlawful to possess, supply, produce, import, or export this drug except under a Home Office license. It is also an offence to cultivate any Cannabis plant except under a Home Office license. 

Can I call the police?

It is not legal for people to smoke Cannabis in their own homes or on other privately owned property. If you are worried about your neighbours smoking Cannabis you can call the police. The police will keep your identity a secret if you do not want your neighbours to know that you have reported them.

You can report a non-emergency crime to the police by:

In Great Yarmouth the police tackle cannabis usage or possessions with Community Resolutions or Conditional Cautions. However, the Police may not always be able to actively investigate all reports of cannabis usage. In part this is because current Case Law does not allow searches based on smell alone.  Even if police cannot investigate your report, they do use reports to identify areas for patrols or to help identify patterns of offending. If more than one household is affected by a neighbour smoking cannabis, we would encourage each household to report the issue to the police individually as this will help police to determine how serious the issue may be.

What can the council do?

The council recognises that whilst neighbours smoking cannabis in their homes is not necessarily an anti-social act, the odour from smoking cannabis can be very strong and unpleasant for neighbours.  Despite this the council is unable to act against people using or possessing cannabis. Unlike the police we have no powers to act on the illegal use or possession of cannabis.

Smells from a domestic residence would not normally be deemed a statutory nuisance. Complaints of odour from cigarette smoke, tobacco smoke, pipe smoke, cannabis smoke etc. going from one property to another is not a matter that can be investigated under the Statutory Nuisance regime. A statutory nuisance can not be created if the issue is caused by "reasonable use". It is considered reasonable for someone to smoke within their own home and in their garden. This however can be pursued as  a civil matter which the council would not get involved with. Complaints about Odour from Cannabis, as cannabis is an illegal substance, should be reported to the Police. This would not be investigated as a Statutory Nuisance. 

What about if my neighbours are renting? Should I tell my neighbour's landlord?

If, either you or the property that you have concerns of anti -social behaviour or nuisance about are tenants of Great Yarmouth Borough Council please contact the tenancy services team on 01493 846825.

If your neighbour is privately renting you may still wish to make the landlord aware of the situation. Some private landlords will choose to intervene to prevent their tenants from smoking cannabis in the property, but they are not obliged to do so.

If you don't know who owns the property you can often find out by asking other neighbours or by ordering a copy of the "Title Deeds" or a "Title View" of the Title Deeds from Land Registry.  This will normally provide the name of the owner and their address at the time that the property was registered with Land Registry. It is cheaper to order a Title View rather than a copy of the Title Deeds.  

Unlike the police, if you report cannabis use to your neighbour's landlord there is no guarantee they won't give away your identity.

I am the landlord - what can I do to stop cannabis being used at my property?

The National Landlords Association has previously said that while they recommend taking references of prospective tenants from former employers or landlords before offering a tenancy, it can also be necessary to make checks on the property after they have moved in. They recommend that these should be carried out quarterly if there are any concerns, but you must make sure you give the tenant or tenants sufficient notice beforehand so as not to disrupt privacy. Lastly, get to know the neighbours and local residents as they can help alert you should they either see or smell what they suspect to be cannabis use on the property.

If you see or smell what you believe to be evidence of cannabis use you should remind the tenants that such actions are in violation of the tenancy agreement. If you continue to find evidence of cannabis usage you may then wish to resort to serving a section 21, or eviction, notice.

I or someone I know is using Cannabis or abusing substances, who can help?

If you or someone you know is using cannabis or abusing other substances the below organisations can offer information, help, and support to them and their loved family and friends.

Change, Grow, Live

Change, Grow, Live can help you break free from harmful patterns of behaviour with tailored drug and alcohol support we offer to fit your needs. Their services include group and individual sessions and can include medical treatment. This might include substitute prescribing or medication that helps prevent relapse. They have needle exchanges where you can find harm reduction advice. There is also blood-borne virus testing, naloxone training and access to other services.

You can contact them via:

Narcotics Anonymous

A helpline offering support for anyone with an addiction to drugs.

You can contact them via:


A helpline offering support for families, friends and partners affected by someone else's addiction to drugs or alcohol.

You can contact them via:


FRANK aims to give young people the skills and confidence needed to reject drugs and offer parents the information they need to bring up the topic with their children.

You can contact them via:

The Matthew Project

A commissioned drug and alcohol service for children, young people and their families across Norfolk.

You can contact them via:

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