The upcoming legalization of marijuana isn’t concerning Fort McMurray’s school districts.
Both the Catholic and Public districts will be bringing in similar policies for their students, teachers, and staff.
FMPSD Superintendent Doug Nicholls tells Mix News they will be treating marijuana just like they do with alcohol.
“Students have to come ready to learn and they have to be clear-minded and they have to understand the environment they’ll be in for the rest of the school day.”
Students who show up to school after using marijuana will face the same consequences as if they had been drinking.
“I don’t feel the cannabis situation, in the long run, will cause us big difficulties – saying that, we could certainly have some students testing us,” added Nicholls.
Despite municipal regulations stating people will be allowed 30 grams on their possession, students who are 18 and staff won’t be allowed any on their person when on school grounds.
Teachers in both districts have also been receiving training to detect when a student is under the influence. FMCSD Superintendent George McGuigan says they plan on educating their staff as much as possible.
“It’s not something we can do on a one-shot deal and say we’re done and check off a box, it’s something we’ll have to do ongoing and talk about and show them what some of the signs and symptoms are.”
Both districts don’t believe there will be a rise in incidents once cannabis becomes legal.
McGuigan notes he has faith in the students to make the right decisions.
“Let’s not shortchange our youth, they’re pretty intuitive themselves and they will see things as they are and they’ll be quite recognizable in knowing what’s going on, so I’m not really concerned.”
Cannabis won’t be allowed at Fort McMurray’s post-secondary school as well.
Keyano College is currently revising its ‘Substance Use Policy’ to include their rules regarding marijuana.
So far, they will be prohibiting cannabis use on all their property – including their student dorms, such as Clearwater Hall.
Despite most of their students being of age, the college notes they are next to Composite High School and many younger students also use their facilities during and after school.
Keyano also wants its students to be “fit for learning.”
Meanwhile, the school will also have accommodations in place for people who are prescribed medical marijuana.
Cannabis will be legal on October 17.