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Cannabis Policy FAQ

Laurier has established an Interim Cannabis Policy, in effect as of Oct. 17, 2018, which prohibits the use and preparation of recreational cannabis on university property, in university facilities, and in university vehicles, with a few exceptions. The medical use of cannabis, with proper documentation, is permitted.

The federal and provincial governments are still working to finalize all regulations related to the use of cannabis products, and municipalities are creating bylaws for their jurisdictions. While these governing bodies finalize regulations, Laurier’s interim policy will allow the university time to consult with them, as well as with other universities and the Laurier community, to develop a long-term policy, and to ensure the university is in compliance with all relevant laws.

Q: When does recreational cannabis become legal?

A: New federal legislation makes the use and possession of limited amounts of recreational cannabis legal as of Oct. 17, 2018. Some restrictions still apply, including the requirement that individuals be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis (see federal and provincial websites). As well, municipalities, universities and other organizations have some control over the use of recreational cannabis on their property and within their jurisdictional areas.

Q: Does Laurier have a cannabis policy?

A: Yes. The Executive and Governance Committee, on behalf of the Board of Governors, has approved an Interim Cannabis Policy that will govern the use of recreational cannabis on university property, in university buildings and in university vehicles, after cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17.

Q: Can I consume cannabis on Laurier property after Oct. 17?

A: No, not at this time. Laurier’s Interim Cannabis Policy prohibits the use and preparation of cannabis (indoors and out of doors) on university property, in university facilities and in university vehicles, with a few exceptions.

Q: Can I possess cannabis on campus if I’m not actually using it?

A: Yes. However, all cannabis brought onto university property or into university facilities must be legally obtained and possessed. Cannabis and cannabis accessories in or on university facilities must be stored in sealed, scent-proof containers.

Q: If recreational cannabis is legal, why is Laurier banning the use of it on campus?

A: It is important to have a simple, clear interim policy in place while the university consults with government, area municipalities, partners and the Laurier community as part of a process to develop a long-term policy that is in compliance with all federal, provincial, and municipal laws. Laurier’s interim-policy approach is similar to that being followed by a number of other universities.

Q. Is the medical use of cannabis permitted on campus?

A. Yes, as long as individuals have the proper medical documentation. Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis and is regulated exclusively by the federal government. For more information about accommodations, staff and faculty can reference the university’s Employment Accommodation Policy or contact Human Resources. Students can seek information through the university’s Health and Wellness Centres.

Q: How does the interim policy affect cannabis research on campus?

A: The interim policy is aimed at recreational use of cannabis; it does not apply to cannabis or cannabis accessories used or grown in laboratories for teaching and research purposes where the research meets all regulatory and ethics approval requirements, and appropriate protections for environmental health and safety are in place.

Q: Are there any exemptions to the cannabis prohibitions outlined in the interim policy?

A: Yes. Exemptions to the policy may apply where the university has an obligation to provide medical accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests from employees will be addressed by Human Resources. For students seeking academic accommodation, requests will be made through the Accessible Learning Centre; for students seeking accommodation in residence, requests will be made through Residence Life.

Another exemption relates to cannabis in university vehicles: cannabis, in any form, is prohibited in university vehicles except for university vehicles used by the Special Constable Service to transport seized cannabis. Cannabis and cannabis accessories in private vehicles being used for university business must be in sealed, scent proof containers and out of reach of the vehicle’s occupants.

Q: Can I smoke or otherwise consume cannabis in my residence room?

A: No. Laurier’s Interim Cannabis Policy prohibits the use and preparation of cannabis (indoors and out of doors) on university property and in university facilities, with a few exceptions. As well, Laurier’s Smoking Policy prohibits any form of smoking in residence or in other campus buildings. Medical use of cannabis in residence buildings is accommodated through Residence Life policies; please contact Residence Life.

Q: Why is Laurier’s Cannabis Policy “interim”?

A: The federal and provincial governments have not yet finalized all regulations related to the use of cannabis products. Also, municipalities have some latitude to create their own bylaws governing the use of recreational cannabis within their jurisdictions. Laurier’s multi-campus, multi-community locations adds to the complexity. Given these circumstances, the university has chosen to enact an interim policy that will give us a period of six-to-eight months to consult with government, area municipalities, other universities, and the Laurier community to develop a long-term policy.

Q: When will Laurier have a permanent cannabis policy?

A: The university intends to create a working group to lead an information-gathering process and to make recommendations for a longer-term Cannabis Policy. Details about the working group and the process for submitting feedback will be provided in the near future. It is anticipated that recommendations will be made to the Board of Governors in time for the Board’s meeting in June 2019.

Q: How will university policies and the legislation related to recreational cannabis be enforced on campus?

A: The university will continue to enforce its policies, student residence standards and all applicable legislation in accordance with established processes.

Q: Can I grow cannabis plants for recreational purposes on campus?

A: No. Laurier’s Interim Cannabis Policy prohibits growing cannabis for recreational purposes on university property and in university buildings, including university residences and housing.

Q: Can I order cannabis through a licensed retailer and have it delivered to campus?

A: No. The university will not accept deliveries of any controlled substance, including cannabis, to its campuses.

Q: Can students use recreational cannabis off-campus before attending class or participating in a lab, tutorial or other learning activity?

A: Students have a responsibility to come to campus prepared to learn and work safely and within acceptable standards. The university’s Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct and Residence Life Code of Conduct sets out behaviour expectations, as well as the university's Fitness for Work Policy for student employees.

Q: Can I promote a legal cannabis-related product on campus?

A: No. Government legislation limits promotion and prohibits cannabis-related sponsorship. The university also has policies regarding advertising, promotion, sales and solicitation on campus.

Q: Does Laurier's Interim Cannabis Policy apply to university-owned off-campus housing?

A: Yes.