Cannabis legalization and homestay

How does the legalization of cannabis in Canada affect you as a homestay host?

What will not change:

For starters, it is important to note that the perception of cannabis in other countries is not likely to change as a result of Canada’s new law.  In countries that many of our students call home such as China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, drug-related convictions can result in punishments ranging from mandatory rehabilitation, to lengthy prison sentences, or even execution.

Please be sensitive to the fears and assumptions that students may make about Canada and Canadians (whether or not you consume cannabis).  Take the time to educate yourself about the perceptions of cannabis around the world, to better understand your students’ cultural context.

Be culturally sensitive when consuming or growing cannabis and acknowledge that students from other countries might not be as accepting of its use.

Our expectations for students will remain the same for minors, where it is illegal for minors to possess or consume any form of cannabis.  With legalization, cannabis will still be considered a drug or medication and the CHN Student Participation Agreement requires that students not use drugs or medication unless prescribed by a registered physician and labeled in English.

What will change:

Going forward, CHN will begin asking hosts to disclose whether or not you consume or grow cannabis, the same way we already ask about your tobacco use.  Likewise, we will only disclose cannabis use to agents, students, or natural parents on your host profile if you smoke cannabis in your home (in the same way we currently disclose tobacco smoking).

We trust that you will use your best judgement when it comes to refraining from using cannabis in front of students.

However, if asked to do so by individual students or natural parents, we may be required to rematch or screen out families who consume or grow cannabis – we cannot require a student to remain with a host whose choices make them uncomfortable.

In accordance with your Host Participation Agreement, at least one adult in the home should be sober in case of emergencies, especially and without exception when hosting minors. Reasonable efforts should be made to store cannabis, alcohol, and prescription drugs securely to prevent access by anyone else, especially your students.

Whether or not you use cannabis, your role as a host remains as it has always been working with us, providing a home away from home for your students – to help to create a safe, nurturing environment where students can thrive.