With the legalization of cannabis coming this fall to Canada, the University of Toronto is reviewing its smoking policies to ensure students are complying with the current legislation on marijuana use.
The Cannabis Act, also known as Bill C-45, will come into effect on October 17, 2018. The bill, according to the Government of Canada’s website, will ensure that there is a controlled access to it, it does not affect the youth negatively, does not cause any harm to public health and reduces profits made by criminals, and be used for medicinal purposes.
An annual Macleans survey revealed that most Canadian university students who smoke marijuana do not use the substance daily, but once a year to almost never. At the University of Toronto, approximately 1 per cent of the students smoke marijuana daily.
In an interview with The Medium, University of Toronto’s senior director of student success Heather Kelly, Kelly stated that the university would use their existing smoking policies on tobacco to regulate cannabis on campus.
“Just like for cigarettes, all students moving onto residence would need to sign a non-smoking contract in which they agree that they will not smoke in their residence rooms or dorms,” said Kelly.
Kelly also told The Medium that the university has established “working groups” across all three campuses, which hope to use the new law as an opportunity to educate students on drug use.
“It is an important moment to educate students about the safety and effects of cannabis, understand its limits and their own responsibilities and most importantly, to seek help when and if needed,” said Kelly.
Although smoking on campus is forbidden, if a student was to get high and then attend classes, the university would take actions depending on the student’s behaviour.
“The university expects all students to obey the law.” continued Kelly. “Any behavior which is detrimental to a student’s personal or academic success will be looked into and appropriate measures will be taken. The university believes that it is important to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.
In order to do this, the university has decided to facilitate discussions throughout the year to keep students informed about the effects of cannabis and drugs in general.