With cannabis legalization fast approaching, a second eastern Ontario college has decided to ban the smoking of both marijuana and tobacco on its campuses.
St. Lawrence College announced this week that students and staff at its three campuses in Cornwall, Brockville and Kingston will be prohibited from lighting up as of Oct. 15.
“It was decided some time ago that this was important, and the risks and negative health impacts of second-hand smoke are well known,” the college said in an online statement explaining the decision.
“The added complexity of the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis was also a factor.”
Also banned at Algonquin
St. Lawrence College is now the second post-secondary institution in eastern Ontario to implement a campus-wide smoking ban, after Algonquin College announced an interim policy for its Ottawa, Perth and Pembroke campuses last week.
Algonquin also cited marijuana legalization as a factor in its decision — in particular, the province’s decision to loosen the rules around where legal cannabis could be smoked.
The previous Liberal government would have restricted recreational marijuana smoking to private residences, but the recently elected Progressive Conservatives have decided to allow it wherever tobacco can also be smoked.
The St. Lawrence College policy applies to both students and staff and will cover all indoor and outdoor locations on its campuses, including inside vehicles.
It also bans vaping tobacco and cannabis. Substances that “form a part of Indigenous culture and heritage” are exempt, the college said.
Recreational marijuana is set to become legal in Canada on Oct. 17.