Niagara University is proud to be a bi-national university. We celebrate a long history of offering academic programs in the Province of Ontario and have strong and positive relationships with the many students, faculty, and personnel whose lives and work connect our university to Canada in indelible and enduring ways. The closeness of this relationship means we must stay attuned to changes in the Canadian and Provincial legal landscape, particularly when Canadian laws may differ from those of the United States and the State of New York. In this light, it is important that we bring you information regarding the legalization of marijuana in Canada and in particular the Province of Ontario so that you remain informed as a member of our bi-national campus community.
Beginning today (October 17, 2018), the sale, possession, and use of marijuana is legal across Canada and within the Province of Ontario. Rules around the purchase, possession, and use of marijuana have been established by the Province with detail available at the following site: https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization. There is particular sensitivity to cross-border traffic given differing Canadian and U.S. laws, and the Canadian Government has issued a Travel Advisory that includes the following important points:
· Although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws in any form and quantity, making it illegal to bring across the Canada-U.S. border.
· Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. Involvement in the legal cannabis industry in Canada could also result in your being denied entry.
· Even with cannabis legal in Canada, do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are traveling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis. If you do so, you can expect legal prosecution and fines, and possibly jail time.
Niagara University’s policy on marijuana and other drugs is unchanged and consistent with state and federal laws. Existing university policies will continue to apply to those traveling on university-sponsored events to Canada and other countries, as well as to U.S. states where laws may differ from those of New York.
Niagara University will monitor these changes and continue to work closely with our Canadian colleagues as well as border officials and local law enforcement. A working group is in place which includes student affairs, athletics, Ontario operations and programs, campus safety, and general counsel.
Open information sessions for faculty, staff, and students on the legalization of marijuana in Canada will be announced – please watch the Daily Post to learn more about these important sessions. In the meantime, specific questions or concerns may be brought to the attention of Christopher Sheffield, Assistant Vice-President of Student Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jason Jakubowski, Dean of Students, at email@example.com.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and for your time in carefully reviewing the information in the two links which are referenced. I extend my best wishes for your continued success this semester.
Debra A. Colley, Ph.D.