Impending marijuana legalization stirring the pot

by | Oct 30, 2015 | News

Tyler Bloomfield
News Reporter

Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made legalization of recreational marijuana a focal point of his platform.

For Humber it could mean reevaluating the rules for students and how they control marijuana use.

Marijuana was an issue in this year’s election, and the Liberal party’s promise of legalization helped them win the youth vote.

“I think (the Liberals) are progressive about (marijuana reform) and that they have thought it through and weighed their options and are making right decision,” said Peter Lodge, a first-year Travel and Tourism student at Humber College. “If it’s controlled properly, the financial income could be astronomical.”

The Colorado Department of Revenue reported a major boost in the state’s economy since its own legalization of recreational cannabis. Jack Strauss, an economist at the University of Denver found in just six months that between two marijuana dispensaries in Denver, there was $30 million in economic output and 280 new jobs.

While legalization has proved to be profitable economically, not much has yet changed for schools.

American campuses in states that have already legalized marijuana are sticking with their policies as if nothing happened.

“Marijuana was, and is, prohibited on the campuses,” said Ken McConnellogue, vice president for Communications at the University of Colorado. “We work hard to let our students and their parents know that. We also employ a variety of strategies to work with our students and communicate about the effects of drug and alcohol use.”

It could take time for any official reform to happen but students have started thinking about legalization and how it will work on campus.

“School is going to have to approach it differently than anything else … residence is going to have to create specific rules, and just like anything it will take a little while for them to work out the best rules for it,” said Lodge.

“I think HSF will do some awareness programs warning students about the harmful effects of marijuana,” said Akur Joshi, a Global Business Management student at Humber’s Lakeshore campus.

Other students have voiced concerns about what could happen to Humber if rules for smoking marijuana were not implemented and enforced.

“Imagine you are a conservative parent and you come to Humber and you see people smoking weed around campus. I would say (to my kids), ‘well I guess you aren’t going to Humber,’” said Aidan Morrison-Henshall, a third-year media studies student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Humber will be on the clock to find a way to regulate marijuana effectively and fairly, as a new government promises legalization.