Weed in rez still a no-no: Housing
By Dan Perry
Don't worry Cypress Hill, this anonymous Western student
doesn't have the problem of running out of weed.
This summer's decision by Ontario courts not to prosecute
simple possession of cannabis may lead stoners everywhere to
believe they are finally off the hook. On campus, however,
it is business as usual.
Sgt. Michael Micks of the Campus Community Police Service
reported that although there is no new policy direction, there
was a meeting between Western's Housing and Ancillary Services
and campus police last week.
"Primarily, we looked at drug use enforcement in residence.
There's been a response grid developed in conjunction with
Housing on how they will deal with drug use in rez," Micks
said. While there was discussion of the Code of Student Conduct,
there were no changes made to its current provisions surrounding
drug use, he added.
Just because police are not pressing criminal charges, there
is no reason to believe the rules on campus have changed, Micks
"Drug use is against the law and smoking is against the rules
in rez," said Susan Grindrod, associate VP-housing and ancillary
"We're trying to reflect what's going on in society," she
said, adding it is important to make sure Housing and the CCPS
are on the same page.
"Most actions will be [taken by] Housing in association with
the CCPS, but primarily [by] Housing," Micks said. Cases of
trafficking, however, will be dealt with through CCPS and the
London Police Department will be called in, he added.
One important clarification made in last week's meeting surrounded
the amount of pot involved, Grindrod said. The law is ambiguous
surrounding what constitutes a personal use amount, but there
is no specific threshold on how much contraband is too much,
"The law hasn't changed," Grindrod said. "The enforcement,
from a residence life perspective, isn't always in the hands
of the law," she added, noting although the police will be
called to confiscate the marijuana, the discipline students
receive will still come through Housing.
"[The rules] are still pretty strict - I remember people getting
kicked out of rez last year," said Koah Kalson-Ray, a second-year
actuarial science student.
In less serious cases, a police presence could prove important,
according to Ashley Lerman, also a second-year actuarial science
student. "It would make enforcement a lot more serious," she
"If a bigger deal were made out of [minor cases], then [there]
might be a bit more of a wake-up call," Kalson-Ray added.