Article by Samantha Craggs, CBC News
A Hamilton grad student has filed a human rights complaint against McMaster University after the university excluded her from an overseas trip over her use of medical marijuana.
Halima Hatimy says she was supposed to take a course trip to Ghana — part of her goal to pursue a career in international healthcare and water security — in February.
But the day before she was scheduled to leave, the university told her she couldn’t go. It feared she’d try to take marijuana to Ghana, even though the substance is illegal there, McMaster said in a letter. It also said it worried for her safety in a country where support is limited.
“McMaster has concluded that you do not appreciate the risk to yourself, McMaster or the other participants on the trip in attempting to bring marijuana and/or derivative products on the trip in contravention of Ghanian law,” says a letter signed by provost David Wilkinson.
Hatimy’s complaint focuses on racial discrimination she says occurred, not only in heated exchanges with university officials, but in the allegation that she’d engage in criminal behaviour by still taking marijuana to Ghana. She also says the university is discriminating based on her disability, and the treatment required for it.
This highlights a need for universities to have better policies when it comes to medicinal marijuana, she says.