Local schools have different methods when talking to students about marijuana use now that it’s legalized. (File photo)

Local schools have different methods when talking to students about marijuana use now that it’s legalized. (File photo)

How schools across Greater Victoria are handling marijuana legalization

Districts and campuses have different approaches to pot use and education

While those over 19 could enjoy their first legal joint Wednesday, at schools across the region rules around marijuana use haven’t changed much for the underage.

For School District 61, 62, 63, a blanket ban for underage users is in effect, with a varied amount of education available.

In School District 61, Greater Victoria, a large education movement has been in place this year surrounding drugs and their effects. In their 10-month “substance use snapshot” campaign, where each month focuses on a certain theme, October was appropriately centred on cannabis.

“We’ve distributed to every school a different poster called ‘Curious about cannabis?,’” said Harold Caldwell, director of the learning support team. “It’s filled with questions, and myths versus facts, as well as a QR code to link to other sites, and we’re developing a modified version is made for middle schools.”

SD61’s “Curious about Cannabis” poster is part of their 10-month Substance Use Snapshot campaign. (File contributed/ SD61)

So far the Snapshot website has seen more than 1,300 visitors, and the campaign itself has had positive feedback.

“This is all through a harm-reduction lens,” Caldwell said. “We hope people stay abstinent as long as possible, but in reality, people will use.”

PHOTOS: Cannabis consumption in the provincial capital

For School District 62, Sooke, information on their stance was posted online.

“All of our policies prohibiting intoxication or controlled substances in schools still apply, regardless of the legal change,” the District’s online cannabis policy states. “Like alcohol, cannabis is a controlled substance and is illegal for anyone under 19. Cannabis will not be allowed in our schools or on school properties. It is prohibited to be intoxicated, impaired, consume alcohol or smoke any substance including vaping, tobacco or cannabis on school property.”

School District 63, Central Saanich, passed out no extra information and posted nothing online. No one was available for comment by the time of print.

For post-secondary students, most of whom have the legal right to use pot, quiet policies were put in place that mimicked existing smoking policies.

READ MORE: West Shore teens fined for possession of pot on Wednesday

At the University of Victoria, for example, smoking and vaping has been limited to two specific cannabis-smoking areas at benches marked with green stripes. These are different benches than 12 other benches designated for tobacco smokers.

As far as use goes, in an online statement released on Oct. 15, UVic’s protocol for students asks them to use self-reflection and self-awareness when choosing to use or not.

Staff cannot use recreational cannabis at work, though exceptions may be made for those with a doctor’s note. However, the smoking policy’s enforcement is based on the idea that “all members of the campus community will voluntarily comply with the smoking policy.”

Camosun College is also using its long-standing rules around smoking and vaping to also be relevant to cannabis: only in designated areas, with a preference that students don’t come to class high.

Royal Roads University updated its campus smoking policy to allow the restricted use of cannabis on Campus. Smoking will be allowed in certain areas, separate from tobacco use areas.


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Legalized Marijuanasd61SD62

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Royals dress for Pink in the Rink as they play the Kelowna Rockets 4–3 in a shootout on Feb. 22, 2020. (James Mackenzie/News Staff)
Victoria Royals netminder Adam Evanoff joins AHL’s Heat on amateur tryout

Evanoff has split his 101 WHL games between Victoria and Moose Jaw

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

Most Read