OPINION: Students, admin split on future legal marijuana use on campus

by | May 2, 2017 | Opinion

David Tuchman
Opinion Editor

Even if recreational marijuana use is made legal, Humber students are split on whether students should smoke pot on campus.

A number of students who were asked unanimously agreed, however, there should be no punishment if someone decides to spark up a joint and gets caught with it.

“The school should follow the law,” said Asra Banjari, a second year Humber Business student. “If the law says that smoking weed is allowed then students shouldn’t be getting suspended or something like that for smoking.

“That’s just wrong.”

The expressed concern is where on campus people would be allowed to smoke.

Daniel Sherkarge, a first-year Electrician Techniques student, said second-hand marijuana smoke is a problem.

“Who would want to smoke before class anyways?” Sherkarge asked. “The problem is where you would smoke it, because if they allow anyone to just smoke in the designated smoking spots, it’s going to give off lots of second hand smoke to people who are just going to class and don’t smoke weed in general.

“It’s not fair to people who don’t smoke that they would have to walk through that.”

The sticky part of the issue is that Humber College has considerable organizational autonomy, and ultimately forms its own rules on campus conduct. That means that the school doesn’t have to allow marijuana use on its grounds simply because its use is legal.

Sarah Reichstien, a first year Paralegal student, said Humber should make it clear where it stands on the issue before legislation is passed – currently expected in July, 2018 — so there is no confusion.

“The second it becomes legal, I think you’re going see people here take advantage really quick,” she said. “If Humber still suspended people over it…then people need to be made aware that it’s still not allowed, or else everyone will be getting high without knowing that there will be consequences for it.”

Currently, possessing any controlled substance is classified under level four of Humber’s Student Code of Conduct, which limits things that “pose a danger or threat to individuals, are in many cases illegal, and in most cases, have already caused physical or psychological harm.”

Rob Kilfoyle, director of Public Safety for the college, has previously told Et Cetera that Humber administration has not yet taken a position on post-legalization use on campus grounds but that his department is keen to know what the policy will be.

“We need to put some clear rules around it,” Kilfoyle told Et Cetera on April 7. As things currently stand, marijuana use on campus would not be allowed after legalization unless an explicit policy is passed by administration allowing it.