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Exclusive: Student group says cannabis ban promotes stigma

Student group takes strong stance on harm reduction.



Eli Ridder | Report

The Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber chapter of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy believes that the full campus-wide ban on recreational cannabis consumption only serves to stigmatize those that are users, the president told The Avro Post in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Possession and use of recreational cannabis was legalized nationwide as each time zone ticked 12 a.m. overnight across Canada, but the policy for campus is that students are not allowed to consume pot in any facilities or on their residences.

However, the CSSDP argues that “the issue of cannabis use on campus is a dynamic and multi-faceted one” and its president, Emelia Maceášik, said that the group advocates for “reasonable and realistic policies”, and recognized that students will smoke cannabis on residence regardless of the ban.

“The solution is that we either provide a safe consumption space for students to use cannabis legally, or students who are already smoking it will continue to do so in their dorm rooms, or elsewhere on college property,” the CSSDP president said.


Image of Maceášik.

Campus chapter president Maceášik, who recently ran as a candidate in the Guelph Senate by-election, is running a CSSDP Cannabis Legalization Information Day booth to be set up in the Guelph-Humber atrium on Thursday.

While answering questions about the booth, Ms. Maceášik said “the CSSDP believes that full, campus wide and residence bans on recreational cannabis consumption only serve to stigmatize users.”

“Colleges need to keep the wellbeing of both faculty and students in
mind; with a goal to offer harm reduction resources that may potentially reduce cannabis use and help current users to consume cannabis products in a safe manner—with respect to themselves and others,” the psychology student said.

In regards to creating specific areas on campus for cannabis consumption, Maceášik said the CSSDP will refrain from giving an official stance, but will monitor the solutions developed by other universities and take input from students on campus.

When asked to describe the CSSDP in one sentence, the president said “eliminating stigma”.

Maceášik said this “means acknowledging that people with substance use disorders and individuals who choose to consume substances should be treated with the same dignity and respect that you would give to anyone else.”

“Drug users are friends, family, teachers, students and mentors. They are members of our community, and their wellbeing matters.”

The Avro Post has reached out to IGNITE student leaders, the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College administrations and the provincial government for comment.

More details to follow. Image of the CSSDP from their website.

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