Illegal Drugs Policy

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Policy Code: 
5201
Approval Authority: 
Chancellor
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Student Affairs
Responsible Office: 
Student Affairs - 828.251.6474

I. Purpose

The University of North Carolina Asheville is an academic community dedicated to the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding. The illegal use of and trafficking in drugs can jeopardize the welfare of members of this academic community. The policy is designed to insure that members of the University community make informed decisions regarding illegal drugs and to ensure the University is in compliance with the Drug Free Schools Act.

II. Scope

The policy applies to all University students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors, and to events at all University buildings and grounds.

III. Education, Prevention, Counseling and Rehabilitation

Just as the primary purpose of The University of North Carolina Asheville is education, so also the University's major effort to address drug abuse should be educational in nature. The University shall maintain a comprehensive drug education program available to all members of the academic community (students, faculty and staff). The University shall develop and coordinate an ongoing program available to all members of the academic community that:

A. informs members of the academic community about the health hazards associated with drug abuse.

B. emphasizes the incompatibility of drug abuse and maximum achievement of personal and educational goals.

C. encourages members of the campus community to make use of available campus and community counseling, medical and rehabilitation resources in dealing with drug abuse problems.

D. informs members of the academic community that they also may be subject to criminal prosecution for violating state and federal laws relating to the illegal use, possession, delivery, sale, manufacture or creation of controlled substances.

The University shall provide information about drug counseling and rehabilitation services to members of the University community through campus-based programs for students and through community-based organizations for faculty, staff and students. Persons who voluntarily avail themselves of University services shall be assured that applicable professional standards of confidentiality will be observed.

IV. Enforcement and Penalties

The University of North Carolina Asheville shall take all actions necessary, consistent with state and federal law and applicable University policy, to eliminate illegal drugs from the University community. The institutional policy on illegal drugs shall be publicized in catalogues and other relevant materials prepared for all enrolled and prospective students and in relevant materials distributed to faculty members, administrators and other employees. Education, prevention, counseling and rehabilitation opportunities are available; however the University has the responsibility to uphold federal and state law.

Students, faculty, staff, administrators and other employees are responsible as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as "controlled substances" in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Any member of the University community who violates that law is subject both to prosecution and punishment by civil authorities and to disciplinary proceedings by the University. For UNC Asheville Students, it is also a violation of the Illegal Drug Policy to engage in the illegal or abusive use or possession of any other chemical substance, compound or combination. The term “illegal use or possession” means use or possession that is unlawful under either federal or state laws. The term “abusive use” means use of a chemical substance primarily for the recreational purpose of altering one's mood, emotion, or state of consciousness as opposed to use that has been prescribed for treatment of the user by a licensed health care attendant or that is specified by the manufacturer's labeling.

It is not "double jeopardy" for both the civil authorities and the University to proceed against and punish a person for the same specified conduct. The University shall initiate its own disciplinary proceedings against a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interests of the University.

Penalties shall be imposed by the University in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators, and other employees, as required by the Student Code of Community Standards of the University of North Carolina Asheville, The Code of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Chapter VI, Academic Freedom and Tenure Section 603, Due Process before Discharge or the Imposition of Serious Sanctions appropriate sections of the current University of North Carolina Asheville Faculty Handbook and the University of North Carolina Personnel Policies for Designated Employees Exempt From the State Human Resources Act, The University of North Carolina Asheville policies, and by regulations of the State Personnel Commission.

The penalties to be imposed by the University shall range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsions from enrollment and discharges from employment. However, the following are the minimum recommended penalties for the particular offenses described.

A. Trafficking in Illegal Drugs

1. For the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, N. C. General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, N. C. General Statutes 90-90, (including, but not limited to, LSD, Ecstasy, Cocaine and Psilocybin (Mushrooms), Oxycodone/Oxycontin, Ritalin, Codeine and Opium), the minimum recommended penalty for any student shall be expulsion and any faculty member, staff member or other employee shall be discharge from employment.

2. For a first offense involving the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in III through VI, N. C. General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94, (including, but not limited to Vicodin and marijuana) the minimum recommended penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent. For a second offense, a student may be expelled and any faculty member, administrator, or other employee shall be discharged.

B. Illegal Possession of Drugs

1. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance in Schedule I, N. C. General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, N. C. General Statutes 90-90, the minimum recommended penalty for students shall be suspension from enrollment for a period of at least one semester and for employees the minimum recommended penalty shall be suspension from employment as allowed by governing personnel regulations.

a. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance in Schedules III through VI, N. C. General Statutes 90-91 through 90-94, the minimum penalty shall be probation, for a period to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A person on probation must agree to participate in a drug education and counseling program, consent to regular drug testing, and accept such other conditions and restrictions, including a program of community service, as the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee deems appropriate. Refusal or failure to abide by the terms of probation shall result in suspension from enrollment or from employment for any unexpired balance of the prescribed period of probation.

b. For second or other subsequent offenses involving the illegal possession of controlled substances, progressively more severe penalties shall be imposed, including expulsion of students and discharge of faculty members, staff members or other employees.

V. Suspension Pending Final Disposition

When a student, faculty member, administrator, or other employee has been charged by the University with a violation of policies concerning illegal drugs, he or she may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings if, assuming the truth of the charges, the Chancellor (or the Chancellor’s designee) concludes that the person's continued presence within the University community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the University community; provided, that if such a suspension is imposed, an appropriate hearing of the charges against the suspended person shall be held as promptly as possible thereafter.

VI. Implementation and Reporting

The provisions of this policy are consistent with the requirements set forth in Section II of UNC Policy 1300.1.

A campus drug education coordinator, under the authority of the Chancellor is responsible for overseeing all actions and programs relating to this campus policy. Said coordinator shall chair a committee with assists with coordination of programming efforts and campus intervention and education stragegies as related to substance abuse/misuse issues.

UNC Asheville conducts a biennial review of the effectiveness of its educational programs regarding illegal drugs and the consistency of sanction enforcement.  Results of the reviews are kept on file.