With marijuana legalization on the horizon, universities across the country are hard at work developing their policies on cannabis use.
The University of Victoria is planning on creating cannabis-friendly smoking areas for their adult students and residents.
“We are focused on those adults living on campus and finding an area near where they live where cannabis can be safely consumed,” said Kane Kilbey, associate vice-president of human resources at UVic. “Our data tell us that 23% of our students have consumed cannabis in the past month, so these behaviours are well-entrenched.”
“The federal government has made it clear that non-medical cannabis will be legal, just like beer and wine, after Oct. 17, So that’s a fundamental consideration,” said Kilbey, who was also a corporate director at Vancouver Island Health Authority.
UVic’s stance on cannabis focuses on safety, harm reduction, and positive lifestyle choices. UVic’s plans come in sharp contrast to Langara College’s in Vancouver, which banned cannabis outright in response to coming legalization.
A policy proposal was sent to UBC by a committee from the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP). The committee’s recommendations come from a roundtable discussion that featured 25 students and staff members from UBC Okanagan.
“Over-regulating on campus could lead to confusion about what the rules are and how to stay within them,” said Stephanie Lake, a board member of the CSSDP, and PhD student who studies cannabis and harm reduction.
The Ministry of Advanced Education encourages universities to make public health and safety top priority as they draft their cannabis policy.