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Columbia MD, 21044
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Drugs and Alcohol Policy - 63.11

College Procedure Number/Title:

Howard Community College (HCC) provides a healthy, safe, and secure educational environment. Employees are expected and required to be in appropriate mental and physical condition for work. Students are expected to contribute to the desired environment by conducting themselves within the guidelines of the student code of conduct.

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of illicit drugs and the illegal use of alcohol on campus or as a part of any HCC activity whether on or off college premises is prohibited in accordance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Under no circumstances shall any employee or student be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol in the workplace, while on college property, or at college-sponsored events. HCC recognizes that the use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace by a legally registered user is permitted in Maryland under certain circumstances and with proper documentation. As such, employees and students who are found to legally possess medical marijuana on college property, with proper documentation, will not be subject to disciplinary measures. However, under no circumstances may an employee or student manufacture, use, sell, or distribute medical marijuana in any college-controlled property or during any college-sponsored events, and the legal usage of medical marijuana outside of college property must be done in a fashion that does not lead to impairment on college property or at college-sponsored events.

HCC will not support employment or internship opportunities whereby there is a connection with the cultivation, production, sale, or distribution of marijuana or Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-infused products. This is in accordance with the Congressional Bill H.R.3614, section 1213 that indicates, “Amends the Higher Educational Act of 1965 (HEA) to bar an institution of higher education from receiving funds or any other Federal financial assistance, including any federally funded or guaranteed student loans, unless it certifies to the Secretary that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.” This prohibition is to ensure HCC’s compliance with federal law.

Employees who show evidence of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in the workplace, on college property, or at college-sponsored events may be subjected to an immediate drug or alcohol screening in accordance with college procedure 63.11.04, Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing. Evidence of being under the influence consists of actions, appearance, speech, or odors that reasonably cause a supervisor to believe that the employee is impaired. If an employee appears otherwise impaired in a way unrelated to drugs or alcohol, see procedure 63.10.11, Fitness to Work. “Under the influence of alcohol” means a blood alcohol concentration equal to or greater than .07 percent. “Under the influence of drugs” means a confirmed positive test result for illegal drug use, or the misuse of legal drugs including the usage of medical marijuana without proper authorization and documentation, the usage of prescription drugs inconsistent with authorization, or the usage of any legal drug to the point of being impaired from the performance of the employee’s assigned duties.

Violations of this policy by employees or students will result in disciplinary action, consistent with college policies. In addition, any violations may have legal consequences consistent with federal, state, and local law and the college will cooperate with appropriate health and law enforcement agencies.

HCC does not want the fear of receiving disciplinary charges or disciplinary sanction to prevent a student or employee from reporting an incident of sexual misconduct. A student who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be held responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct if the student was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident. An employee will not be subject to disciplinary action for reporting or serving as a witness regarding an alleged incident of sexual misconduct that occurred while the employee was in violation of this procedure, provided that the report is made in good faith.

The college recognizes drug or alcohol abuse as a potential illness and major health problem, as well as a potential safety issue. Students and employees who need help in dealing with such problems are encouraged to use community or campus assistance programs. Voluntary participation in an assistance program alone will not jeopardize continued employment or enrollment at the college and will not be noted in the personnel or student record provided that job or classroom performance or behavior is consistent with established standards. However, voluntary participation in an assistance program will not prevent disciplinary action for violation of this policy, nor will it prevent corrective action for performance or behavior problems in the workplace or classroom before, during, or after participation in an assistance program.

In accordance with college procedure 63.09.16, Duty of Employees to Report Arrests, Charges, and Convictions, a college employee who is arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime involving legal or illegal drugs, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol must report the action to the associate vice president of human resources within 72 hours.

The efficacy of the policy is evaluated on an annual basis by human resources.

Effective Date: 04/12/19

President's Office Use:  VPAF/VPSS - CAT

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