As UBC stays quiet, students and faculty speak on cannabis legalization

published on May 9, 2018 by Bridget Berner in The Ubyssey

With cannabis set to be legalized this summer, municipal, provincial and federal authorities are figuring out how to roll out recreational cannabis to the masses — and so are universities and colleges.

Smoking tobacco on-campus at UBC is already restricted to designated smoking areas and it’s safe to assume that it will be similar for cannabis. But legalization will raise other questions about cannabis use like where users can vape, whether dispensaries and smoke lounges will be allowed to operate on campus, and if keeping or growing cannabis inside UBC dorms will be permitted.

Dr. M-J Milloy, an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor in the division of AIDS at UBC’s department of medicine, said he’s excited about the research opportunities that legalization will allow.

“We’re hoping that once legalization takes place, the rules that govern the scientific application of cannabis will also be relaxed,” he said. “A lot of us scientists who are involved in this research, we know that there’s all sorts of evidence supporting the possibility of cannabis being useful in medical settings.”

Some of his previous research examine the benefits of cannabis for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as individuals facing addiction to substances like heroin or crack cocaine.

“People who were using cannabis around the time they were infected [with HIV] have lower viral or lower HIV levels in their blood than people who were not using cannabis,” said Milloy.

“On a personal level, it really opened my eyes to the possible applications of cannabis in clinical settings.”

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