Kamloops this Week

TRU moves to outlaw cannabis use

Cannabis users could be banned from lighting up on Kamloops campus

  • Aug. 15, 2018 11:25 a.m.

—Kamloops this Week

When cannabis use is legalized on Oct. 17, don’t bother lighting up on the campus of Thompson Rivers University.

The institution has taken steps to ban cannabis use on campus while declining to take a similar stance on alcohol or tobacco.

A draft university policy on alcohol, cannabis and tobacco lists recreational cannabis use as “prohibited,” while allowing for medicinal use provided the user can produce a prescription from a “qualified physician.” Drinking alcohol in licensed premises and smoking tobacco in designated areas would be allowed under the proposed policy.

TRU spokeswoman Darshan Lindsay said the university hopes to have a policy in place before cannabis legalization in October.

She said the school reached out to other universities before crafting its draft policy.

Minutes of a meeting of TRU’s joint health and safety committee from March show a unanimous vote to classify marijuana an “intoxicant” and ban its use on campus.

Pat Barringer, trades instructor and co-chair of the committee, said his concerns regard student safety.

“My problem with this is I work with machinery in the trades building,” he said. “There’s no way in hell you can smoke pot or drink beer and then operate machinery.”

Psychology professor Chris Montoya, another member of the committee, also expressed safety concerns.

“A student cannot get drunk walking next to another student drinking a beer,” he told KTW.

“However, students, staff and faculty can get stoned breathing in second-hand smoke.”

Lindsay said the school is treating cannabis differently than alcohol because of safeguards that are in place for drinkers.

“Really, the difference is that there are currently, in terms of alcohol, some significant systems in place to control sale and consumption,” she said. “Those systems don’t exist for cannabis. It is a new area.”

The university’s food-services branch operates The Den, a licensed bar inside the Campus Activity Centre, and various campus events regularly obtain liquor licences from the provincial government.

But, according to the proposed policy, those events could be in for some changes, as well.

RELATED: B.C. waits to add ‘craft cannabis’ to its retail system

University and campus events at which alcohol is served will have to meet strict new guidelines, the proposed policy dictates, including limits on advertising and branding language.

“Advertising of events must be responsible, in good taste and not promote alcohol as the focus of the event,” the draft policy reads.

“Terms that promote immoderate alcohol consumption such as ‘bash,’ ‘drunk,’ ‘kegger,’ ‘wipeout,’ ‘blackout,’ ‘rager,’ etc. are not permitted.”

Lindsay said that could mean some events have to change their name.

“By being clear on our policy around language, it helps define what we mean when we talk about consuming alcohol in a responsible manner,” she said.

“Any events that take place on campus would fall under these regulations. The exception is personal residences [student and private housing].”

TRU Students’ Union external vice-president Cole Hickson said he was unaware of any potential changes that might have to be made to the union’s annual Last Class Bash event, an on-campus party which features beer gardens prominently.

RELATED: Senate approves marijuana bill with plenty of amendments

“I don’t think there’s going to be any problems with that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure TRU will respect the event.”

According to Lindsay, the alcohol and tobacco policies were due for an update and the university had to take a stand on cannabis given its impending legalization.

“The proposed policy is in keeping with our approach to foster a safe and healthy environment for all who are on campus, and that this environment supports the best educational opportunities for our students,” she said.

Lindsay said the proposed policy is slated for review by the president’s council later this month.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organisation provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

Erosion along the creek is causing hazardous situation for residents

The proportional representation debate continues as the deadline nears

Sean Graham creator of the Dual Member Proportional system says it would be better for Revelstoke

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read