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Approach to Cannabis Legalization Q&A

University of Waterloo

Approach to Cannabis Legalization

Q & A

What is the current state of cannabis legislation?

In Ontario, the Cannabis Act, 2017 will come into effect on October 17, 2018. This Act provides regulations on where cannabis can be used, and how cannabis will be distributed and sold.  

What is University of Waterloo’s overall approach to cannabis legalization?

Upon legalization of recreational cannabis in Ontario on October 17, 2018, the University of Waterloo will follow provincial and federal direction, focus on the health and safety of the University community, and take a harm reduction and education approach. The University’s smoking policy, Policy 29, has been updated to support these elements of our approach to the new legislation.

Can individuals consume cannabis on campus?

The University prohibits smoking of cannabis (including vaping) on University property.The only exception is for the purposes of medicinal use which may occur only with appropriate documentation provided to the University (Accessibility Services for students and Occupational Health for employees).

Can individuals possess cannabis on campus?

For individuals 19 years of age and over, up to 30 grams of cannabis product can be stored in a sealed container.

What health information will be shared to the campus community about cannabis?

Campus Wellness has worked with other campus partners to develop and deliver health education and harm reduction messages regarding recreational cannabis. Key harm reduction messages will include Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.

The School of Pharmacy has also developed resources and educational videos.

How will health education and harm reduction messages be shared across campus?

Key messages will be shared through educational campaigns, social media platforms, as well as through key campus events (e.g. orientation week, campus fairs, Single and Sexy play, etc.). Campus Wellness service providers will provide harm reduction support through routine interactions with students. Other areas across campus are encouraged to share harm reduction messages to students and employees through available communication channels.

Can individuals use cannabis on campus for medicinal purposes?

Individuals who are prescribed medical cannabis may discuss reasonable accommodations with Accessibility Services and/or Occupational Health.

Can individuals grow cannabis on campus?

Growing or cultivating cannabis plants on campus is not permitted.

Can individuals use or grow cannabis in residence?

Smoking cannabis (including, but not limited to vaping) is not permitted in all residence buildings. Plants and equipment intended to grow and cultivate plants within residence is not permitted.

Can individuals order cannabis to campus?

The University of Waterloo will not accept cannabis deliveries on campus (same as alcohol).

Can companies market cannabis products on campus?

Advertisements, posters, and other general promotion of recreational cannabis products are not permitted on campus.

Can individuals drive while using or shortly after using cannabis?

It is illegal to drive while drug-impaired.

What options are available for students who are concerned about problematic substance use?

Students who are concerned about their own level of substance use or abuse are encouraged to connect with a Campus Wellness professional (Health Services, Counselling Services) to explore assessment, intervention and support options.

What options are available for employees who are concerned about problematic substance use?

Employees who are concerned about their own level of substance use or abuse are encouraged to connect with Occupational Health or Human Resources to explore assessment, intervention and support options. Employees are encouraged to disclose their concerns to their own health care providers.

What will happen if students are under the influence of cannabis during class, lab assignments or field trips?

Cannabis impairment will be addressed as a student conduct matter, under Policy 71 – Student Discipline.

What will happen if employees are under the influence of cannabis during the course of their work?

Employees must be fit for work at all times, and working under the influence of cannabis will not be tolerated. An employee who appears to be under the influence will be sent home via taxi and scheduled to meet with their supervisor and Human Resources the following day.

How will it be enforced on campus?

The University will follow appropriate corrective administrative or non-academic discipline, and will work with campus police if illegal activity takes place on campus. A focus will be on education and awareness to the campus community.