Pot is banned at U of C, but drinking is still okay

Cannabis rock: The University of Calgary “rock” was painted in preparation for cannabis legalization in Calgary on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. The University of Calgary has opted to echo municipal bylaws in its recreational cannabis use policies. (Photo by Deanna Montalvo/The Press)

Students at the University of Calgary students have been told they will have to light up elsewhere if they want to smoke pot in public after the Oct. 17 legalization date.

The policy was announced at the end of last month by the institution.

Some students feel the policy is strange considering the use of other recreational products is allowed on campus.

“People can get as drunk as they want at the Den,” Kayla Gavin, a third-year political science student, said in an interview.

“I’m pretty sure smoking weed would be less messy and less work for campus security,” she said.

Gavin also mentioned the end-of-year Bermuda Shorts Day party on campus is “essentially a free-for-all.”

So why couldn’t the consumption of marijuana be treated in the same way considering, she said, given that it’s arguably less detrimental to bystanders.

Hee-Young Shi, a first-year engineering student, said she doesn’t smoke or drink, but isn’t affected by people who do.

If people want to smoke marijuana or consume it in any other way, it wouldn’t affect her and they should be free to partake at their leisure “just like having a beer at the Den over lunch.”

“What’s the difference?” she said.

The policy, which mimics the City of Calgary’s marijuana policy, seems convoluted to Tyler Huget, who lives in one of the residence buildings.

“We’re allowed to drink, but no weed,” he said.

U of C has also decided, as landlords, to not allow the consumption of marijuana in residential buildings either, based on the fact that smoking of any kind is already forbidden.

However, smoking pot five metres from the entrances to the buildings is still prohibited even though the smoking of cigarettes is not.

“So they’re treating it like tobacco in res[idence], but as alcohol on campus,” said Huget.

“It’s really not clear.”

Shi said she thinks the confusion arises simply because “it’s all so new,” and it will just take some time to iron out.

No smoking here: Students relax on the U of C campus on Canada’s cannabis legalization day, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. The university will not allow marijuana to be consumed in any way on its property despite the drug’s legal status. (Photo by Deanna Montalvo/The Press)

In the meantime the University of Calgary’s Post Alcohol Support Space, which offers medical attention to students who have consumed too much alcohol, will extend its services to those who have consumed too much cannabis.

The space is anonymous and students aren’t disciplined for using its services.

I’m pretty sure smoking weed would be less messy and less work for campus security. – Kayla Gavin

Like SAIT, which released a statement on Oct. 16 that read, “it’s a no at SAIT,” the University of Calgary’s policy states that there in no acceptable place on campus to consume recreational cannabis.

Linda Dalgetty, the U of C’s vice-president of finance and services, told the student news website The Gauntlet in an interview, there won’t be punishment for students found consuming pot on campus.

“If people are smoking cannabis, they will be asked to put out the joint because it’s not legal on our campus,” she said.


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