Pubdate: Sat, 28 Oct 2017
Source: Prince George Citizen (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Prince George Citizen
Page: 6


Canadian municipalities aren't the only ones trying to figure out how
they're going to respond when marijuana becomes legal across Canada
next summer. A recent Maclean's story shows universities across the
country are also struggling with how to adapt. UNBC is no different.

"Senior administration is giving this issue thought and some of our
operational units are discussing it as well," UNBC provost and
vice-president, academic, Dan Ryan said in a written statement.

"UNBC is developing a response but we will have to consult with
various people/ units around the university, including the Board of
Governors, and make sure the response is framed appropriately and that
we're going in the right direction."

That's about as cautious, politically correct and noncommittal a
response as you can get.

It's too bad because UNBC, like the City of Prince George, could stand
to gain by boldly embracing the legalization of marijuana, making the
city and region a hub for the production of safe, quality pot in
secure industrial facilities, employing potentially thousands of people.

UNBC could devote research dollars and space on marijuana research,
not only medically but also socially and culturally.

The Northern Medical Program could carve out a real niche for
important health research on marijuana use, whether as formal
medication or self-medication. Canada's Green University indeed. Yet
that's not the only issue around pot that UNBC has to think about.

In its annual surveys of Canadian universities, Maclean's also looked
at student marijuana use.

Nationally, 63 per cent of respondents said they never used, 21 per
cent said they were infrequent indulgers (less than once a month or
once a year) and just five per cent reported frequent partaking (daily
or a few times per week).

Maclean's found UNBC students are mostly typical pot users, virtually
identical to the national numbers for those who never use, infrequent
dabblers and daily 4:20s.

UNBC, however, was double the national average of a few times per week
use (six per cent) and monthly use (eight per cent). Curiously, just
one per cent of UNBC students reported less than once a month use,
compared to 10 per cent seen nationally.

Basically, UNBC students have a black or white relationship with pot,
with 85 per cent of students either never or rarely using, while the
other 15 per cent partaking at least once a month or more.

That's hardly enough reefer madness to worry about but it will be
interesting to see whether use spikes among post-secondary students
once legalization happens and if the social stigmas around pot use
fall away.

It would also be interesting to see further research into how students
use pot. As the Maclean's article points out anecdotally, marijuana
use on Canadian campuses seems to mirror that of the general adult
population, where people either use in social settings, similarly to
alcohol, or partake to reduce stress or as a non-prescription sleep

Whatever happens after next summer, the data suggests UNBC students
will largely fall in line with their counterparts on other Canadian
campuses when it comes to marijuana.

- - Editor-in-chief Neil Godbout
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt