Pot may be legal, but some students favour limits on campus consumption

Sweet Sickening Smokes: Remaining cigarette butts at SAIT in Calgary on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. This will only continue to grow if Cannabis is treated like cigarettes. (Photo by Brett Klassen/The Press)

Cannabis may be about to become legal in Canada, but that doesn’t mean everyone thinks that using it in public is a good idea.

In fact, many students are on the fence about pot, on the eve of legalization on Oct. 17.

SAIT students interviewed in September found that some students believe marijuana should be treated the same as tobacco.

Others were concerned that pot use could put students at risk of impairment and/or addiction to the substance.

According to the Government of Canada, every time cannabis is used it can affect impair a user’s ability to drive safely or operate equipment, make it harder to learn and remember, and affect mood and even mental health.

But even with the risks, there are also some great benefits, according to SAIT student Miranda Terpstra.

Terpstra, who is a first year in the new media production and design program, said that cannabis can be useful for many students who deal with health issues.

“Cannabis is used in treatment for anxiety, eating disorders, epilepsy and many other conditions in life. Therefore, their school life may also suffer,” she said.

Terpstra believes that using cannabis while in school is a two-edged sword.

Users also may become unmotivated and “lazy” if they frequently use the substance.

The risk of a student’s academic life is all about how much pot a person uses, said a cannabis user who withheld his name, due to employment issues.

“Marijuana can be helpful for the student trying to deal with anxiety, depression or insomnia, which are all common among college age students,” he said.

“I think the positives [with treating marijuana like cigarettes] would include breaking the stigma around marijuana users, mental health benefits, and fewer pointless run-ins with the police,” he said.

Treating cannabis like cigarettes would a huge step forward for a post-secondary campus, he added.

He said that it would serve to show the campus as a progressive and open minded place that does not judge or discriminate, as well as changing with the times, and the law.

There are some types of marijuana without THC, the cannabinoid that produces the intoxicating or “high” feeling one would normally feel after smoking.

According to CanniMed, a cannabis distributor governed by Health Canada, “CBD lacks nearly any psychoactive effect and is showing promise with epilepsy, including children with a severe form called Dravet’s Syndrome.”

Terpstra said that CBD cannabis and products would be fine if treated like cigarettes, but with tighter rules governing use on a post-secondary campus

“Cigarettes and marijuana should only be smoked in one designated area of campus, instead of anywhere you want,” said Terpstra.

Terpstra said that the smell may be intrusive to many students, and is probably unpleasant for those with asthma.

About Brett Klassen 3 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Brett Klassen is working as a writer for The Press during the 2018-19 academic year.