Cannabis on Campus

While cannabis has been legal in Canada since October 17, 2018, Red Deer College is cannabis free across our campuses, including all Residence units. Consumption and ingestion of cannabis in all forms (including edibles, drinkables, topical, etc.) is prohibited on RDC’s campuses. Additional details are available in the Cannabis on Campus Policy.

As a public institution, Red Deer College is subject to the bylaws of its home municipality, The City of Red Deer, and the cannabis free position the College has taken is aligned with the City of Red Deer Smoke Free Bylaw, which prohibits consuming cannabis in public, including smoking and vaping cannabis.

The decision for RDC to be a completely cannabis free campus was not taken lightly, as the institution wishes to treat all persons fairly and respectfully, and a wide variety of perspectives were contemplated leading up to this position.

Given the diverse population of people of all ages at Red Deer College, including youth on-site for pre-school and kindergarten, as well as summer camps, and families living in RDC’s Residences, the College has cannabis free campuses so that everyone can experience a safe and healthy place in which to work, study, visit, and live.

Student, faculty and staff safety were also important considerations, with the operation of equipment and use of chemicals and a variety of items in shops and labs across our campuses. RDC has taken the priority of student and employee safety into consideration with the establishment of its campuses as cannabis free.

RDC’s Residences
While RDC hopes that students and families living in Residence units enjoy a home-like environment on campus, the College has made the decision to be a cannabis free campus in all areas to best serve the health, safety, and wellness needs of our diverse population. The Residential Tenancies Act of Alberta identifies that: “A landlord may prohibit the smoking of all substances including cannabis in their buildings or on their properties.” While RDC’s Residences officially fall under the ‘private living accommodation’ definition in The City of Red Deer’s Smoke Free Bylaw, Red Deer College, as a landlord, has banned cannabis use and consumption on its property for the health and safety of all residents.

Harm Reduction
Red Deer College recognizes that cannabis is an addictive substance. As such, the College has supports available for members of the College who have a substance dependence disorder to cannabis.

  • The Health, Safety and Wellness Centre has physician services available weekly and nurses on-site full-time to support student’s medical needs.
  • The Counselling & Career Centre offers free and confidential services for students, and the Centre has a dedicated Addictions Counsellor on-site. In addition, professional counsellors are available to assist students with a variety of situations that may impact their academic success, whether the situations may be mental health, difficulties with relationships, or challenges balancing school and life demands.


Frequently Asked Questions
When does this policy go into effect?
The Cannabis on Campus Policy has been in effect since October 17, 2018.

Why is cannabis legal in Canada, but RDC is cannabis free?
While cannabis consumption is legal in Canada, each province, municipality and land-owner can regulate different levels of use in specific areas. The City of Red Deer Smoke Free Bylaw prohibits consuming cannabis in public, which includes RDC’s campuses. As the landlord for RDC Residences, the College has banned cannabis use in Residence units, as per the Residential Tenancies Act.

Why is smoking allowed in designated areas on campus, but cannabis is banned?
The City of Red Deer Smoke Free Bylaw prohibits consuming cannabis in public, which includes RDC’s campuses. RDC also recognizes that, unlike tobacco smoke, cannabis causes impairment that can negatively affect the diverse population of people at RDC’s campuses.

Will medicinal cannabis be allowed on campus?
Medicinal cannabis, as authorized by a member in good standing with a College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada and approved by RDC support services, is permitted on a case-by-case basis. Individuals with medicinal cannabis needs should contact the Health, Safety and Wellness Centre