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Living the High Life: What York Students Should Know About Weed Legalization

October 17th, 2018 has come and gone and it’s official. After what seemed to some like a long, long, long process, it is now acceptable for most to blaze on practically any given street corner in Ontario. Don’t let the hype fool you though, there are still some important limitations to keep in mind. Read on for the answers to some general and York-specific FAQs.


Photo via Pixabay


Can anyone smoke weed?

No. Like alcohol and tobacco, you may only smoke weed if you are 19+ years of age in most provinces (18+ in Quebec).


Photo via Pixabay


Where can I buy weed?

For now, you can only legally purchase weed online through the government controlled and regulated Ontario Cannabis Store (ocs.ca). You can buy up to 30 grams of bud or its equivalent in cannabis oil at a time. Later, you’ll also be able to buy plants or seeds to grow within your own private residence (up to four plants). It’s predicted that April of 2019 will be when the first privately-run retail stores will begin to open up.


Photo via John Miller


Where can I smoke weed/Can I smoke on campus?

Weed can be smoked or vaped in any area that tobacco can be smoked. This means public areas with no smoking regulations and designated smoking areas. On York’s campuses, you cannot smoke inside any buildings or within nine meters of any entrances or exits (20 meters for daycare facilities). It’s still illegal to smoke weed while operating a vehicle or machinery.

If you are reading this from another school, check the rules associated with your particular institution. There are some schools that are entirely smoke-free zones, such as Guelph University, in which case you cannot smoke on campus.


Photo via Aamir Mohd Khan


Can I grow marijuana plants in a York residence or where I rent?

Not necessarily. York does not allow for recreational growth of marijuana plants in any of its residences. Speak to someone from your Residence Life team or Don on Duty if you want more information on why.

Yes, you are allowed to smoke within a private residence — with permission of the owner. This means that if you are a York student renting in the Village, your house must be smoke-friendly in order for you to partake.

Overall, you’re allowed to grow up to four plants in a personally and privately-owned residence.


Photo via Pixabay


What kind of enforcement is in place for these laws at York University?

According to York administration, they are focusing on voluntary compliance as a means for regulating and enforcing cannabis use on campus. In other words, they will be asking you to follow the rules they have set in place and relying on Security Services to help enforce them. There may also be municipal officers on campus fining those who do not abide by the laws set out in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and/or Cannabis Act. Find those here: Smoke-Free Ontario Act & Cannabis Act.


Photo via Pixabay


If you need or want more information, you can visit some of these sites:

Photo via Pixabay


So there are some of the must-knows for any York University student thinking of blazing between classes or getting into cannabis culture. Keep in mind that marijuana prohibition has lasted 95 years in Canada, so this is essentially going to be a social experiment. Keep updated on the changing situation so that you’re informed every time you light up!

Happy blazing!



Photo by: Pixabay

Kiana is currently in her fourth year at York University studying Dance, Kinesiology and Education. She loves spoken word poetry and is passionate about topics like the LGBTQ+ community, animal rights, veganism, mental health and wellness, and the arts. After finishing her bachelor’s degrees, she hopes to become a teacher. You can follow her on Instagram at @queerkii
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