Province reviewing smoking cannabis in dormitories amid complaints about legislation
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 5:57PM CST
Changes around the rules of cannabis consumption in university and college dormitories could be coming in Manitoba after pot becomes legal in Canada Oct. 17, 2018.
Current provincial legislation prohibits cannabis in outdoor public places.
The University of Manitoba and Brandon University have prohibited smoking cannabis on campus. The University of Winnipeg has a policy stating all buildings and grounds are designated as smoke-free and vape free areas.
In a statement to CTV News Tuesday, Minister of Health Cameron Friesen indicated there is room for exceptions in the legislation.
"We are currently reviewing this specific issue of smoking and vaping of cannabis in university and college dormitories, as well as other multi-residential facilities,” Friesen said.
Brandon University Students' Union president Justin Shannon said for now he’s disappointed there isn’t a place for people to legally consume cannabis, and the issue is a problem for people in student residence.
“They are living on campus eight months of the year and they don't have a prime residence where the government of Manitoba says where they should be consuming cannabis,” he said.
Shannon said there are designated smoking areas on campus, and alcohol is allowed at licensed establishments and in dorms, and wants the province to reconsider the current cannabis legislation.
Some students on the other hand are pleased cannabis is so far being kept off campus.
“Because what are you like going to smoke a joint and then go to class?” asked University of Winnipeg first-year student Ben Pilat.
"I think if the city or municipality were to implement different places downtown where that was easily accessible but keeping those drugs off of the school," said freshman Nicolas Matsuo.
University of Manitoba Students' Union president Jakob Sanderson said one third of students consume marijuana.
He's working with the university to allow edible marijuana products.
"If we are allowing alcohol use in private dorms we should allowing private marijuana use in a way that doesn't have the same issues as smoking brings up so if people want to use edibles we strongly believe they should be able to,” Sanderson said.
He said it doesn't make sense people can smoke and vape outside on campus, but the same will not apply for pot, and would like to see designated areas set up.
The University Winnipeg and Brandon University both say they are reviewing their policies.
The University of Manitoba website said its policy will be in accordance with provincial legislation.