York gives prof. place to toke up

November 02, 2006

Daniel Girard, Toronto Star (Canada)

York University is cool with a criminology professor smoking pot on campus.

Brian MacLean will get his own private, ventillated room beginning Monday after the school agreed to accommodate his use of medical marijuana for a severe form of degenerative arthritis.

The move by York follows the lead of the University of Toronto, which in September gave a philosophy professor with an undisclosed medical condition the go-ahead to spark up in a room assigned to him for the same purpose.

“We take it seriously because we pride ourselves on trying to be progressive in terms of the way that we approach people with disabilities,” York spokesperson Alex Bilyk said in an interview today.

“A person wants to be a functioning member of society and in order to do that certain people need different types of medical accommodation.”

MacLean, who was hired in the summer by York as an assistant professor in the sociology department, did not return calls from the Star.

But in a story published this week in Excalibur, the university newspaper, MacLean expressed relief that he won’t have to seek out private areas to smoke up over fears of being seen - and stigmatized - by students or faculty.

“I would be smoking, medicating, on campus and people would either see me or they would smell it on me,” said MacLean, who uses marijuana once every four hours.

“It’s not corrective medication, it’s enabling, and I don’t think people quite understand that,” he said.

“I think there’s a lot of really negative and damaging stereotypes around the use of drugs, generally.”

The two professors are among about 1,000 Canadians authorized by Health Canada to use marijuana to treat medical conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and nausea from chemotherapy.

Be the first to Comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.