How will Canadian universities handle legal marijuana?

Heading into his third year of university, declining grades paired with a mounting workload were almost enough to convince Halifax student Stephen Trainer to drop out of his program. When the stress of school was leading to progressively restless nights, Trainer’s doctor prescribed melatonin, a sleep aid. Frustrated by the side effects and an ever-increasing dosage, Trainer (whose name we have changed to protect his privacy) began instead to self-medicate with a small joint before bed.

Not only did his sleep improve, but so did his grade point average, which went from 2.4 to 3.9 in his final two years of undergrad. “I attribute some of that improvement to marijuana,” says 26-year-old Trainer, who has since completed his degree and is currently pursuing his M.B.A. “I’m not promoting it, but I definitely believe it helped me focus more on school.”

Trainer defies the pot-smoker stereotype popular culture depicts: a lazy,...

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