Clearing the air around cannabis on campus

Smoking or vaping marijuana anywhere on campus will remain prohibited at Brock University, even after recreational cannabis  becomes legal in Canada on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

A cannabis website has been created that contains helpful details of related University policies and procedures, as well as information on recreational cannabis and a list of frequently asked questions.

The University has updated its smoking policy and developed new standards for employees and student residences to address the usage and possession of recreational cannabis on all Brock campuses, including in student residences and other indoor spaces, inside personal and work vehicles and in outdoor areas.

The new rules are outlined in an updated Smoking and Vaping Policy, revised Community Residence Standards and Agreements, and a new Fit for Work Standard, which places a priority on providing a safe and healthy workplace for faculty, staff, students and community members.

However, one thing is certain, smoking or vaping of recreational cannabis will not be allowed anywhere on Brock University campuses, including in work or private vehicles, student residences, offices or in any outdoor Designated Smoking Areas (DSAs).

“At Brock University, we focus on ensuring a teaching and learning environment that supports the success of our students and ensures a healthy work environment for our faculty and staff members,” said Brock President Gervan Fearon. “Updating our Smoking and Vaping Policy fosters health and wellness by taking into account concerns around second-hand smoke, as well as respecting the fact that many of our students are under the legal age for the use of cannabis-related products or even to purchase tobacco.”

Fearon said Brock “will continue to monitor the impacts of cannabis legalization and will review policy on an ongoing basis to ensure it reflects best practice.”

To help both supervisors and employees understand their responsibilities regarding potential impairment in the workplace, a new Fit for Work Standard is also being developed. Although it’s not specifically related to the new cannabis legislation, it includes cannabis as one of several substances that could contribute to an employee’s impaired function as it pertains to their work.

In conjunction with the prohibition on smoking and vaping cannabis, the University is also moving to significantly reduce the number of DSAs on the main Brock campus. As well, locations are being changed to create a smoke-free corridor leading from east to west across campus. The University continues to explore transitioning to a completely smoke-free campus.

The University is also restricting possession, cultivation and promotion of cannabis on campus. Under the new Cannabis Act legislation, those 19 years of age or older will be allowed to be in possession of up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or other legally available cannabis products. When on campus, however, it must be kept in a sealed container or package so that the smell cannot be detected by others.

The cultivation of cannabis plants is not allowed anywhere on campus, including in student residences or private offices. Cannabis edibles may not be produced, baked or cooked anywhere on campus, including in residences. In addition, drug paraphernalia of any kind is prohibited in student residences. The revised Smoking and Vaping Policy also prohibits sponsorships or promotion of both tobacco and cannabis products and companies.

Under the Ontario cannabis laws, the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis will be through the Ontario Cannabis Store website. However, cannabis products may not be delivered anywhere on Brock University property.

For more information on cannabis legislation, health impacts, travelling implications and industry rules, visit the Government of Canada cannabis website.

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