Red Deer College establishes cannabis free policy across campuses

Cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17th

When cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17th, Red Deer College will be cannabis free across its campuses, including all Residence units.

“We have been carefully considering this position for some time, and we’ve established that becoming completely cannabis free is the best way to ensure the health, safety and wellness for the diverse groups of people at our campuses,” said Shelley Ralston, vice president corporate.

The majority of areas on RDC’s campuses fall within The City of Red Deer’s recently updated Smoke Free Bylaw, which prohibits consuming cannabis in public. The exception to this is RDC’s Residences, which are part of the ‘private living accommodation’ of this bylaw. However, the Residential Tenancies Act of Alberta identifies that a landlord may prohibit smoking, including cannabis, in their buildings and on their properties. As a landlord, RDC is banning cannabis use and consumption for the health and safety of all residents.

“This decision wasn’t made lightly, as we recognize that people live on campus and that cannabis will be legal in Canada,” said Ralston. “We had to consider the needs of all the people who live, study and work on our campuses, as well as visitors. There are people of all ages here, including youth on- site for pre-school and kindergarten, and families living in the family residences, and we have established that going cannabis free is the best way to serve our entire College community.”

Ralston notes that safety was also an important consideration in the decision. Since students, faculty and staff frequently operate equipment and use chemicals and other items in shops and labs across campus, safety is a critical factor. Creating a cannabis free campus is another way the College will provide a safe place for people to learn and work.

RDC will also have harm reduction supports available for people experiencing medical issues or those looking to cease use of cannabis or other addictive substances.

Additional details and the new Cannabis on Campus Policy are available on RDC’s Cannabis on Campus webpage.

-Submitted by Red Deer College

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