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U of C bans cannabis consumption on campus, including residences

Campus reaction is something the University of Calgary Students’ Union (SUUC) will be watching closely as the U of C rolled out its cannabis consumption policy.

Consumption of recreational cannabis will be banned from the University of Calgary campus as nationwide legalization is set for just mid-October. The U of C rolled out its Cannabis Policy Monday and it will go into effect Oct. 17 – the same day as legalization of marijuana across Canada.

Consumption, including smoking, vaping and ingesting cannabis will be prohibited on campus, including all buildings, residences and field station, a media release stated.

Also, the University will not allow the cultivation of cannabis plants on campus or in any facilities, except for what’s used or grown for research and teaching purposes. Further, the sale of, or advertisement of cannabis and cannabis accessories won’t be permitted on campus.

Kevin Dang, VP Operations and Finance for the SU, who sat on the working group that developed the cannabis policy said he wanted to ensure that the policy included an emphasis on harm reduction for students.

“I believe that students can use cannabis responsibility and that we do have resources here on campus to support students were they to have a (substance abuse) issue,” Dang said.

He wouldn’t speculate on the response from students as the policy nor marijuana legalization had come into effect.

“I’m really curious to see how students react to it,” Dang said.

He said the working group also debated the perception of marijuana as it pertains to alcohol on campus, something Calgary city council also discussed when drafting their cannabis consumption policy.

Ultimately, Dang said, they were bound by the overarching City of Calgary marijuana policy, which bans consumption in public. This was reiterated by University administration.

“It’s vital that the University of Calgary complies with laws and regulations of all three levels of government, including the city’s bylaw which prohibits the consumption of cannabis in public spaces,” says Linda Dalgetty, vice-president, finance and services, in a prepared release.

“Our policy also prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff by promoting harm reduction programs and resources available to our campus community.”

Students who possess cannabis or any accessories used with them, must have the products in sealed, scent-proof containers.

The policy does state that marijuana use for medical reasons can be accommodated under the new guidelines.