Cannabis legal but not at school

Cannabis has been legal since Oct. 17 but School District No. 46 announced that nothing is changing at its schools.

“Use of cannabis on school properties by anyone (under or over 19) will continue to be against the law, along with tobacco smoking and vaping. This includes any adjacent sidewalks or boulevards,” said an Oct. 25 release.

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It also remains illegal for youth under 19 to purchase, possess or use cannabis in B.C. Selling cannabis to people under 19 is also illegal.

The release also states that it is illegal to smoke or vape tobacco and cannabis on playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks and other places where children and youth spend time, such as campsites and provincial parks, except for in designated areas.  

“There has been confusion about what cannabis legalization means,” said superintendent Patrick Bocking, “so it was important for us to get a statement out because legalization doesn’t mean everywhere for anyone.”

Bocking said communication became a priority after speaking with staff and senior administration at schools across the district. “For us there are no changes in our schools. We’ve never allowed smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol around our schools. And that continues to be true.”

He said he has not heard reports from schools that cannabis consumption has increased since legalization. “There hasn’t been any real impact on that in our schools.”

District of Sechelt is updating its smoking bylaws to include cannabis. Cannabis is already included in the Town of Gibsons’ smoking bylaw.

The school district has also put in requests to municipalities and the SCRD to consider a perimeter limiting stores, consumption lounges and greenhouses within a specified distance from school sites.

Bocking said if people have concerns or questions about school regulations they are encouraged to contact the principals at their local schools.

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