Sept. 25, 2018

UCalgary's Cannabis Policy unpacked

Get to know the rules on campus before legalization on Oct. 17

The University of Calgary has developed a Cannabis Policy which governs recreational use of cannabis on campus. It comes into effect on Oct. 17, 2018, the same day the federal cannabis law is effective. 

The policy complies with all federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations regarding the possession and use of cannabis, including the City of Calgary Cannabis Consumption Bylaw, which prohibits cannabis consumption in public places. 

“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, finances and services. “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.”

The Cannabis Policy is available online to read in full, but here’s a quick look at the highlights:

First things first — you can’t use it, sell it or grow it on campus

Cannabis consumption, including smoking, vaping and ingesting cannabis, is prohibited on campus and in or on university facilities, including inside residence buildings and at field stations. If individuals have cannabis or related accessories with them, they must be stowed in sealed, scent-proof containers.  

In addition, cannabis plants may not be grown on campus or in or on university facilities; cannabis is not allowed in university vehicles; and the sale and advertisement of cannabis and cannabis accessories is prohibited, including on university vehicles.

Harm reduction and accommodations on campus

UCalgary approaches substance use within the university community from the perspective of harm reduction. By early October, a website will be live which provides easy access to these resources. 

Debbie Bruckner, senior director of student wellness, says providing open and non-judgmental support to students and employees is crucial.

“We know that telling people not to consume cannabis or alcohol has been proven to be ineffective,” says Bruckner. “Rather we want to promote harm reduction, by building a safe and supportive community and offering a variety of support and resources so people will feel comfortable enough to access them.”

Within the SU Wellness Centre there are physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers and health promotion workers committed to harm reduction. A Student Substance Use Advisory Committee provides guidance in this programming. The SU Wellness Centre also has a harm reduction support advisor (HRSA) to provide supportive outreach and brief interventions for students experiencing concerns with substance use.

Harm reduction support is available to employees through the university’s Employee Family Assistance Program, or Staff Wellness.

If you use cannabis for medical reasons and require the ability to consume it while you’re on campus, you may be accommodated. To confidentially discuss and plan for your individual needs, contact Student Accessibility Services (for students), or Human Resources or Staff Wellness (for employees).

Know the facts

Learn the rules and regulations that will come into effect when the new Canadian law regarding cannabis comes into effect on Oct. 17, 2018. Up-to-date information is available directly from the cityprovincial and federal governments.