‘Absurd to ban it’: University of Alberta cannabis policy leads by example

Pot-friendly zones for cannabis smoking and vaping will exist on the University of Alberta campus when it becomes legal next Wednesday.

The decision was a no-brainer, says the school’s director of enterprise risk management programs.

“Even before Day 1, our students told us it would be absurd to ban it,” said Andrew Leitch, who is also co-chairman of the cannabis working group, which consulted with students, faculty and staff to establish a harm reduction strategy based on risk education rather than prohibition.

“Students are smoking it now, and they’ll smoke it when it’s legal,” said Leitch of next Wednesday’s cannabis legalization date.

“This way we can be open about the fact that people are using it, while non-users are impacted as little as possible. There are a lot of unknowns, and there are a lot of risks, so why not help people in the community enter into this with our eyes open, with good information?”

In its report, the cannabis working group acknowledged

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