UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO BANS SMOKING OF MARIJUANA ON THREE CAMPUSES
Needless to say, Canada has served as a focal point for the marijuana debate for a long time, and, now, our neighbor to the north has officially earned its spot as an influencer. As of October 17, 2018, Canada legalized the recreational use of marijuana, meaning residents from Alberta to the Northwest Territories can purchase regulated quantities of flowers for their indulgence (with the exception of edibles, which will be available in 2019). However, the country is making headlines once again, due to the intervention of one of its major schools. Recently, the University of Toronto announced its plans to ban the smoking of marijuana across three campuses in 2019 and would apply to joints, e-cigarettes, vaping pens, and additional smoking tools. Let’s take a closer look at how the university plans to enforce this law.
Above all else, the University of Toronto wants to enforce health and safety for all students and staff, according to Kelly Hannah-Moffat (vice president of human resources and equity). Officials are primarily concerned about secondhand smoke and health problems associated with smoking, overall. As of now, the university’s tobacco smoking policy is 25 years old, and updates to the rules were required after the federal government legalized pot. (Consider, for a moment, that 37,000 people die from smoking-related illnesses every year, and 800 non-smoking Canadians die from lung cancer on a yearly basis.)
One Year in the Making
Overall, the university has been putting this new plan together since September 2017, after McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) announced a complete prohibition of smoking on campus. At that time, the University of Toronto had started drafting the new policy, and, even now, the smoking rule is still in the stages of infancy. Even more interesting, Althea Blackburn-Evans (director of media relations) explained that university officials had planned this regulation in sync with the then-upcoming nationwide legalization of marijuana. Likewise, Matthias Memmel (president of the University of Toronto) applauded the new ban and believes it is an excellent step to protect students and staff.
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