Weed on campus: What you need to know

(By: Ally Yacapin)

Weed is now legal in Canada.

The use, cultivation, and sale of recreational cannabis has been officially legalized across the country as of Oct. 17, 2018. There are now federal laws in place dictating how cannabis can be used, how much is too much to consume, who can buy and consume cannabis and where to legally use it.

Ryerson students, however, have limitations to consuming weed on campus grounds.

Smoking or vaping cannabis inside Ryerson buildings, including residences, or within nine metres of building entrances and exits is prohibited, according to Ryerson’s cannabis on campus website. However, it will be allowed outside of these restricted areas, including in Lake Devo and the Kerr Hall Quad – spaces owned by the city of Toronto and not the university.

Taking the new cannabis law into consideration, the university created a cross-functional group called the Legislation of Cannabis Steering Committee to help maintain a safe community on campus. The committee reviewed the university’s internal, external and health policies.

The school also worked with the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU), the Residence Council and other universities across the province.

What Ryerson has done:

  • Created a frequently asked questions page with information about the use of cannabis on campus, Ontario Cannabis laws, medical marijuana accommodations, health considerations and resources about the effects of cannabis in the human body.
  • Updated residence community standards in consideration of changes to cannabis use within campus.
  • Reviewed current standard policies and rules for staff and faculty, as outlined in HR policy and collective agreements, to ensure safety to all employees.

Effects of Cannabis

After consuming cannabis through smoking, vaporizing or dabbing, effects can be felt within seconds, according to Health Canada.

Consuming cannabis recreationally can lead to serious long-term effects in the body and poses serious risks in terms of learning, memory and brain functions. The minimum age to buy, consume and own cannabis in Ontario is 19 years old — the same legal age for buying and consuming alcohol within the province.

Short-term effects include:

  • Feeling euphoric
  • Relaxation
  • Sense of well-being
  • Anxiety, fear, or panic (after a couple of hours)
  • Damaged blood vessels (if consumed by smoking)
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

Long-term effects include:

  • Increased risk of addiction
  • Can harm concentration, IQ and ability to make decisions
  • Risk for lung issues such as bronchitis, lung infections, chronic cough and increased mucus build up on the chest
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