Cannabis was legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018.
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The University of Ottawa unrolled its cannabis policy nearly six months after legalization day, governing cannabis consumption, growth and sale on campus. 

The update to Policy 58 — the U of O’s broader smoking policy — arrived on April 3, underlining that smoking or vaping cannabis is banned in all areas where tobacco smoking or vaping is.

The policy prohibits smoking, vaping or growing cannabis in university residences, along with the sale of cannabis on campus. University employees cannot consume during work. 

In a statement accompanying the policy update, released on May 9, the university wrote it’s “committed to providing reasonable accommodation for medical cannabis use on a case-by-case basis.” 

On Oct. 15 of 2018, just two days before legalization day, the U of O said it would allow cannabis users to light up on campus in tobacco smoking areas but would consult further with the community before cementing a policy. 

The university said this update is a result of these consultations into whether the U of O should become a smoke-free environment. An ad hoc committee led David Graham, the U of O’s provost and vice-president (academic), then reviewed the results of the consultation and made recommendations to develop the updated policy. The committee also reviewed policies at other Canadian universities as well as studies on cannabis use, the U of O said. 

The U of O’s cannabis policy runs in contrast to the policies at the nearby Carleton University and Algonquin College. At Carleton, smoking or vaping cannabis is completely banned on campus. The same goes at Algonquin College, in line with their smoke-free policy introduced on Jan. 1.