Campus Cannabis


By Riamarie Panachikal

Beat it narcs. Cannabis will be legal across Ontario Oct. 17 2018.

Cannabis legalization presents a new slate of changes to residence life.

At UW, residences will approach the recreational use of cannabis similarly to recreational use of alcohol — only those who are of legal age (19-years-old) may partake.

“If the individuals are of age, they’ll be able to possess or consume,” Alex Pitticco, assistant director of Student Development and Residence Life from the Waterloo Residence department, said.

Unlike alcohol, which may be consumed in public or in common spaces, students in residence can only consume or use cannabis within private spaces, like suite-style residences.

“In a traditional residence, in which there is like a common lounge or a common kitchen, you would not be able to cook with cannabis,” Piticco said.

There are additional restrictions students should be mindful of.

Cannabis can only be consumed in legal quantities.

As much as 30 grams may be purchased and stored on residence at once.

Students may cook cannabis and only consume cannabis in the form of edibles.

This includes brownies, gummies, and tea.

Any consumption that poses a fire hazard will not be allowed, this includes vapes, bongs, e-cigarettes and smoking.

Those caught sharing or selling cannabis to anyone under the legal age will be penalized.

Likewise, anyone below the legal age caught preparing cannabis edibles would face repercussions as determined by the discretion of residence staff.

For those of you living in residence, you’ll mostly likely catch the scent of skunk wafting around your floor at least once during the fall term. Second-hand cannabis smell may be of concern to some of you.

Residence policy thus far is to monitor for excessive odour on a case-by-case instance.

“We’re going to have to be paying attention to individuals cooking with cannabis and what odour that might create and how that may or may not impact other individuals especially within that private suite setting,” Piticco said.

As residences are shared spaces, staff will have to consider the needs of all occupants when handling issues around odour. 

“We never approach situations, solely with consideration to the individual,” Piticco said. “It’s always with consideration to the individual, with consideration to the environment they live in because of course, residences are high-density living environments. One person’s rights don’t [outweigh] the rights of somebody else.”


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