By Alanna Rizza
Now that cannabis is legalized, you can smoke in the Ryerson Quad.
Starting Oct. 17, Ryerson students will be allowed to light up outside on Ryerson campus, as long as they’re at least nine metres away from entrances and exits. This is aligned with provincial legislation in regards to where students or anyone on campus (over the age of 19) can use cannabis publicly, along with not being able to smoke inside any university buildings.
Cannabis can also be consumed in Lake Devo, according to Ryerson public affairs. The popular skateboarding spot is public property as it’s owned by the city of Toronto, so feel free to smoke weed there — as if you haven’t already.
That means you can smoke weed on any streets bordering campus, or in front of the Egerton Ryerson statue. You can be in possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis anywhere at Ryerson, including residence, as long as you’re not consuming it inside.
However, Ryerson faculty and staff are not allowed to consume cannabis on Ryerson property, as it is considered a workplace. Ryerson employees are expected to be at work unimpaired and “fit to perform their duties,” according to the university.
Ryerson’s cannabis policy
Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi told The Eyeopener that Ryerson will have a policy specifically outlining cannabis consumption on campus in December. Until then, weed is treated like any other form of smoking under Ryerson’s smoke and vape free campus policy.
The policy prohibits smoking and vaping—including tobacco and cannabis—inside all university buildings and within nine metres of building entrances and exits.
Last month, the Ontario government announced that smoking recreational cannabis will be allowed anywhere that smoking tobacco is allowed. Currently, Ontario residents can smoke cannabis in most public places, such as sidewalks or parks.
While the Ontario government is allowing people to grow up to four plants of cannabis in their homes, this won’t be allowed in residence.
According to Lachemi, no form of smoking cannabis consumption is permitted in any of Ryerson’s buildings including residences. That means no smoking, (no matter how much Febreeze you use) bong hitting or vaping. Students 19 and older may consume edibles in residence, however making edibles in residence is not allowed.
Ryerson public relations said the consumption of edibles in all Ryerson buildings that aren’t residence “is still being considered.”
“As with all controlled legal substances, Ryerson students are expected to behave responsibly and to conduct themselves appropriately,” said Ryerson pubic relations in an email. “Any inappropriate behaviour on campus related to the use of alcohol/drugs will be addressed through the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct (Policy 61).”
Lachemi said there are exceptions for students who use medicinal cannabis. He said those instances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, also in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The formal process to be allowed to use medicinal cannabis on university property must be submitted through Ryerson’s Academic Accommodation Support.
A second-year Ryerson student, who asked to remain anonymous, said he smoked weed recreationally when he lived in the International Living and Learning Centre last school year. He said he lived in a dorm without roommates and that he would smoke joints in his room two to three times a week.
“It was actually so easy to smoke weed in rez and not get caught,” he said, adding that he would leave the window open to avoid a strong stench coming from his dorm. “So many people smoked in rez and we never got caught
Lachemi said if students break the rules, it will be addressed through the residence “community standards,” which also sets out consequences.
“The residence community standards provide a framework that guides students in developing a safe and supportive community,” said Lachemi.
According to the standards, if students violate them, they could face a range of punishments, including writing an apology letter or completing a project that gives back to the community. If the student is not cooperating with housing staff, they could even be evicted from residence.
A third-year business student who asked to remain anonymous, said he smokes weed on campus two to three times a week. He said once cannabis is legalized, he plans on smoking around campus more often, and he said he’ll make sure to be on public property.
“I’ll smoke more around Ryerson, because it’s more convenient for me,” he said, adding that in first year, he got caught smoking weed with friends in the Quad. “We were so obvious though… Campus security came up to us and I was freaking out.”
He said security asked for their OneCards, and they took down their names and student numbers. He said security told them they would just get a warning this time, but if they were caught smoking weed again, they could face consequences under Ryerson’s code of non-academic conduct.
He said he still smokes weed on campus despite being caught before, but he’s more careful by blazing in “low-key” areas on campus, such as at the benches beside O’Keefe, while keeping an eye out for security. He said he smokes to relax while studying and sometimes before going to class.
“It’s also a social thing. If my friends say they wanna smoke, I’m like, ‘Ya bro, sure.’”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that students cannot consume edibles in residence. Students over 19 may consume edibles in residence, however making edibles is not allowed. The Eyeopener regrets this error.