Personal Injury

Students should study up on rules concerning cannabis use: Daya

By Staff

Cannabis use on campus is a tricky issue for college and university students to navigate, Toronto personal injury lawyer Jasmine Daya tells

Although it's legal to use the drug for recreational purposes, Daya, managing principal with Jasmine Daya & Co, says it’s not as straightforward for students hoping to light up while at the province’s post-secondary institutions.

“It’s a really complicated maze for students because there are layers of legislation, bylaws and rules,” she says, explaining that the federal Cannabis Act is just the first level of legislation concerning the drug.

In Ontario, the Cannabis Control Act governs the distribution and sale of cannabis. However, the provincial legislation allows individual municipalities to opt out of storefront sales and set their own bylaws surrounding public use of the drug.

“If you’re at a college with more than one location, the rules might be different depending on which municipality you’re going to school in,” Daya says.

For example, she says students attending Seneca College’s Markham, Ont. campus are bound by that city’s ban on vaping and smoking cannabis in public places, a rule which does not apply to its Toronto campuses.

Finally, each university and college has adopted its own rules in their codes of conduct for students.

“It’s best for students to be aware of what the rules are at all levels, and act accordingly,” Daya adds.

Many institutions will notify people about their responsibilities in email blasts or mailed updates, Daya says. However, some students may have to work harder to find out what’s allowed at their place of learning. But, taking those extra steps will be worth the effort in the long run, she says.

“These issues are taken quite seriously by college and university administrators, and the repercussions for failure to adhere to the code of conduct can be severe,” Daya says. “In a worst-case scenario, it could lead to expulsion, which is something that could seriously impact a person’s future.”

Although there are appeal and civil lawsuit options for students who feel they have been unfairly treated by an institution’s internal disciplinary procedures, she says individuals may be better served by undertaking a small amount of research to avoid transgressions.

“Having an issue with your school and applying to remove things from your record isn’t somewhere you want to find yourself,” Daya says. "It can all be avoided by doing a bit of homework around the rules."

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