Cannabis up in smoke on campus?
SAIT’s cannabis prohibition aroused response from SAIT students and faculty, and is drawing the attention of Saitsa Board members.
With SAIT being a public space, SAIT’s first response in creating the procedure document for Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products was to follow the City of Calgary guidelines outlined in Calgary’s “Smoking and Vaping Bylaw.”
SAIT’s regulations state that the use and/or sale of cannabis is prohibited in SAIT’s facilities.
Saitsa President Ryan Morstad and the Saitsa team collected data through the Happy or Not terminals. The anonymous comment sections in the voting for the Saitsa Board of Directors (BOD) election, which took place in the 2019 Fall Semester, was also used.
“The main concerns that people have are they don’t want people to be high in class,” said Morstad.
“And they don’t want to smell it.”
Morstad said that he wants to host a town hall, or forum, on campus to hear student concerns.
Morstad said that it’s ultimately up to SAIT to implement any course of action. Saitsa’s part is to present student concerns to SAIT’s Board of Governors for evaluation in making their decisions.
“What I’m advocating for is that it would be a designated zone away from walking areas in a secluded part of campus,” said Morstad.
Morstad said that while they see it is a student concern, broader research is necessary. It currently won’t be a main issue of focus.
Saitsa BOD member Tristan Ryan, an Electrical Engineering Technology student, smokes cannabis off campus. He says there are more important issues to discuss than cannabis on campus, such as educational funding.
“It’s a need that is not unmet,” said Ryan.
He also said that time spent advocating for a consumption preference could be used better.
“Frankly, I think that you should be allowed to consume the medicine you need wherever you are, but I really do think that students are already able to do that,” said Ryan.
Tim Holowachuk, a SAIT Mechanical Engineering Technology student and Saitsa BOD member, advocated for cannabis in the recent BOD election.
“I think it’s inherently unfair,” said Holowachuk.
Concerning cannabis prohibition negatively affecting people on campus, Holowachuk said he had no information to support that, but he says it’s a student concern.