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How Will Canadian Universities and Colleges Embrace Cannabis?

How Will Canadian Universities and Colleges Embrace Cannabis?

Kresstine Fernando

Now that cannabis is about to be recreationally legalized throughout Canada, many colleges and universities are looking into possibly changing their policies on the substance – especially for those students living in residences.

But the question remains, how will Canadian universities and colleges embrace cannabis on campus exactly?

Though cannabis is no stranger to university campuses all over the world, the universities in Canada will need to adapt to legal changes once the new school year rolls around. 

Some universities, unfortunately, have taken a hard line and controversial stance against cannabis use by issuing a ban on combustion and usage of all cannabis products while on campus grounds.

Many advocates, however, believe that the ideal situation would be to allow for campus cannabis bars where students are able to use cannabis in the same way they would use alcohol. However, many critics believe it would be detrimental to allow cannabis and alcohol to share the same space – especially around young, developing minds.

Many physicians have outlined the potential damage cannabis can exert on the prefrontal cortex of the brain in people under the age of twenty-five. The Canadian government, however, has legalized recreational cannabis for those eighteen years of age and older.

Critics of the plant have also argued that the current batch of cannabis that has been circulated is a lot more potent than the ones seen back in the sixties and seventies. Concentrates like shatter and spice may even contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) thirty times more potent than the average bud. They fear potential overdoses and hospital visits in vulnerable users with pre-existing conditions.

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But many advocates still cite that cannabis is less harmful to the human body than cigarettes and alcohol. They reason if those substances are allowed on university campus grounds, then so should cannabis.

Experts also note that enforcing policies on edibles may prove to be tough for universities as they have no way of monitoring use.

Only time will tell as to how universities and colleges around Canada will adapt their policies to this new law. Either way, cannabis will not be a new substance introduced on their grounds. Ask the many patrons who have used it over the course of the past few decades.

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