Thompson Rivers University has officially banned smoking recreational marijuana on campus and bringing pets inside its buildings.
But use of alcohol and tobacco will still permitted in designated areas.
Effective Oct. 17, in conjunction with the federal government's legalization of recreational pot, smoking marijuana on campus will remain prohibited, the university announced in a letter to students on Friday.
The university also warned students, faculty and staff that effective Nov. 24, their pets will no longer be permitted indoors. The furry companions will, however, still be allowed to walk the grounds, but will need to be under constant supervision and leashed. Dogs brought in for Therapy Thursday, animals in the animal health technology program and certified guide dogs will be exempt from being left outside.
There are also exceptions being made for smoking medicinal marijuana on campus. Anyone who has a prescription will be permitted to smoke their cannabis in designated areas, but it’s not clear yet if those will be the same locations where cigarette smoking is permitted. People can also use cannabis on campus for research and teaching purposes provided they have written approval from the dean of their particular department.
During a consultation phase on the marijuana policy, which spanned from May to mid-September, the university received comments that it should treat cannabis and tobacco equally and prohibit tobacco use and vaping as well.
Christine Bovis-Cnossen, TRU’s interim university president said the idea of a smoke-free campus isn’t off the table for the future.
“We probably want to let this policy bed down over the next six months and then take a look at it in the future,” Bovis-Cnossen said.
The move to add a ban on smoking cannabis to its policy on alcohol and tobacco was the university’s specific and deliberate response to pending legalization, Bovis-Cnossen said, noting the university initially considered including tobacco in the smoking ban, but wants to conduct more specific consultation in that area before opting to go that route.
The university opted to create the policy banning pets in buildings after two incidents of dogs biting people on campus in the last 18 months and due to a number of other complaints from students, facilty and staff over the years, TRU vice president of finance and administration Matt Milovick told KTW.
He said that during TRU's call for feedback on the policy 41 responses were received, most of which were against baning pets, but agreeing that some form of control was required.
—This story was updated to add comment from TRU vice president of finance and administration Matt Milovick