Stats tell us that more than half of all Canadians in their prime age for going to college smoke cannabis, but is this activity going to be allowed on college campuses come October?
Young people make up the majority of cannabis smokers in Canada, and seeing how they also make up the majority of people taking college classes, the two are bound to overlap.
College students have been one of the biggest target groups for drug dealers for decades now, and in October once legal sales of recreational cannabis are allowed we may see the biggest presence of cannabis on college campuses in recent history.
Just to be clear, throughout most of this article we’ll be discussing the legality of recreational cannabis, or simply weed, and not medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana has a specific set of laws imposed so if we touch on that, we will make sure to point it out.
Is weed allowed on college campuses in Canada?
While drawing up Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, Justin Trudeau’s government made sure to address the problem of public consumption and possession of cannabis on school grounds.
So, in order to prevent and battle the issue, the federal government made it so that students caught with legal amounts of weed on campus grounds are not prosecuted.
Students will have a right to bring up to 30 grams of cannabis to school and if caught, the police will not charge such students with a criminal offense that could lead to having a criminal record, although students could still be ticketed and have the cannabis confiscated).
In doing so, the federal government left enough space for provinces to determine what type of ticket or punishment they will be imposing on the perpetrator.
This means that the amount the fine might vary, depending on the province you are caught in if you are also caught during the act of smoking or vaping weed as public consumption is also punishable.
You might also be faced with repercussions from the school staff as well, seeing how many schools have their own policies and ways of dealing with on-campus drug possession cases internally.
Is weed allowed on college campuses in the US?
No. Not in California, not in Colorado, not in any state. Weed is illegal on the federal level and getting caught on a college campus will most likely end up with you being arrested or paying a hefty fine.
Some states have more lax laws when it comes to on-campus drug possession cases and they allow these cases to be handled internally by the school.
Seeing how California has the longest cannabis traditions in the US, one of the biggest populations of college students and the most relaxed weed laws in the country, one might think having a little bit of weed on campus is no big deal.
However, even after legalizing recreational cannabis this January, California stands tall and is still very strict when it comes to on-campus drug possession cases.
Every University of California System institution, all of the California State University schools and facilities, community colleges and private colleges are not allowing marijuana on university grounds or in campus buildings.
But, since many states have introduced medical marijuana as a legitimate way of medicating oneself, colleges have had to adapt.
Medical marijuana is a much different thing in the eyes of the law and is to be treated differently by the law enforcement agencies.
If a user of medical marijuana is caught with his medication on campus, if he can prove that he is a part of the medical program by presenting a valid card, he won’t suffer any consequences.
We’ve seen a judge rule in favor of the medical marijuana users just recently in one such case when one Arizona State University student was caught with his drug bottle on campus.
Legislators in California also passed Jojo’s Act which allows parents and guardians to administer medical cannabis to their kids in school as long as they don’t do it in a manner that creates a disruption to the educational environment or causes exposure to other pupils.
Until the US changes its federal cannabis policies this question will not be a pleasant one for those caught in possession, or even worse consuming weed on campus grounds.