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Drug Free Campus

Definition: In compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, California State University San Marcos certifies that the university is to be a drug-free workplace and learning community and that unlawful manufacture, sale or attempted sale, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of controlled substances by employees, students or members of the campus community is prohibited on University property or at University functions or activities. Compliance with these federal requirements necessitates that employees and students be notified in writing annually of the policy and related procedures, and that the following required information be included in the notification; 1) a description of applicable legal sanctions under federal, state, or local laws for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol; 2) a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol; 3) a description of any drug and alcohol programs that are available to employees or students; and 4) a clear statement regarding disciplinary sanctions that will be imposed on students and employees for violations for the standards of conduct. Violations of this policy may result in criminal prosecution. In addition, any student or employee determined to be in violation of this policy is subject to receipt of a written reprimand or disciplinary action up to and including suspension, dismissal or expulsion.
Authority: Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 (20 USC sec. 7101 et. seq.); Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 USC sec. 701 et. seq.); Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC sec. 801 et. seq., at sec. 812); regulations, 21
Scope: This policy and any related procedures apply to all areas and members of the campus community.
Responsible Division: Student Affairs
Approval Date: 02/26/2004
Originally Implemented: 07/01/1989
Signature Page/PDF: View Drug Free Campus Policy



There are numerous Federal, State, and local statutes and ordinances relating to the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol. These statutes impose legal sanctions for both felony and misdemeanor convictions related to violations of applicable laws and ordinances. Detailed information regarding these statutes, which may change over time, is available from the University Police Department. Scheduled drugs considered to be controlled substances are listed in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812), and are further defined by regulations 21 CFR 1308.11 through 1308.15. Copies of the Act and regulations are available for review via the internet at

A. Highlights from Federal and State Laws

  1. The manufacture, sale, or distribution of all scheduled drugs is a felony, which could result in serving time in prison; simple possession of controlled substances can be punished by civil fines of up to $10,000 per violation and a jail sentence.
  2. Health care providers are barred from receiving payment from Federal insurance programs upon conviction of a criminal offense involving distribution or dispensation of a controlled substance.
  3. Distribution or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance on University property requires a sentence up to twice the prescribed sentence for the original offense, and twice the prescribed parole time.
  4. The cultivation, possession for sale, or sale of marijuana is a felony.
  5. Possession of one ounce or more of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor, which could include payment of a fine or serving time in jail; possession of less than one ounce for personal use is a misdemeanor, which could include a fine up to $100.00.
  6. It is a misdemeanor to sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 or any obviously intoxicated person, and no one under 21 may purchase alcoholic beverages.
  7. It is unlawful for any person under 21 to possess alcoholic beverages on any street or highway or in any place open to public view.


Pre-employment testing for specified positions relating to peace officer/safety duties and/or operation of equipment will be required. Additionally, testing may be required if there is a reasonable belief that an employee, student or visitor is under the influence of a controlled substance.


Substance abuse dependence may result in a wide spectrum of extremely serious health and behavioral problems. Substance abuse results in both short-term and long-term effects upon the body and mind.

Acute health problems may include heart attack, stroke, and sudden death -- which, in the case of some drugs such as cocaine, can occur after first-time use. Long-lasting health effects of drugs and alcohol may include disruption of normal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, leaks of blood vessels in the brain, bleeding and destruction of brain cells and permanent memory loss, infertility, impotency, immune system impairment, kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, and pulmonary damage. Drug use during pregnancy may result in fetal damage and birth defects causing hyperactivity, neurological abnormalities, and developmental difficulties. In addition to the problem of toxicity, contaminant poisoning often occurs with illegal drug use. HIV infection associated with intravenous drug use is a prevalent hazard.

Information and literature about the health risks associated with substance abuse are available from the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Student Health Services. The Student Health Services website contains more detailed information regarding health risks associated with substance abuse at


Employees with substance abuse and dependency problems create excessive safety risks for themselves, their colleagues, and others. A person who is mentally or physically impaired because of drug or alcohol use may behave in careless and unsafe ways. Substance abuse may noticeably affect an employee's job performance, which may, over time, decline in quality. Such employees tend to have unusually high accident rates, and are absent or tardy more frequently than others.


A variety of services have been designed to help prevent or treat substance abuse. Employees and students are encouraged to seek assistance for substance abuse or dependency problems voluntarily (self-referral). These services include workshops regarding substance abuse; individual case evaluation, counseling, referral to outside counseling and treatment providers, treatment follow-up, and assistance in dealing with health care providers.

For employees, information regarding services related to substance abuse problems or concerns is available from Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. Confidential assistance for employees is also available through the Employee Assistance program at 1-800-342-8111. For students, on-site and/or referral services are available through Student Health and Counseling Services. Counseling Services staff members are available for consultation with University employees regarding students with possible substance abuse problems.

Information disclosed by an employee who is participating in an Employee Assistance Program or a student participating in counseling services is considered confidential, in accordance with Federal and State laws and University policies.


Consistent with procedures established pursuant to Section 41304 of Title V of the California Code of Regulations, any student at Cal State San Marcos may be expelled, suspended, placed on probation or given a lesser sanction for violating University policies and campus regulations. Students found to be in violation of this program may be required to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, State or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.

Pursuant to the Drug Free Workplace Act, all employees are required, as a condition of their employment, to: (a) abide by the terms of this policy; and (b) notify the Office of Human Resources and Employment Opportunity of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. In compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act, employees found to be in violation of the University Policy on a Drug Free Campus may be: (a) subject to corrective or disciplinary action, up to and including termination or, (b) at the discretion of the University, required to satisfactorily participate in an drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, State or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency. Policies or contracts pertaining to individual employees are available from the Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.


Alcoholic Use on Campus Policy (


The U. S. Department of Education requires that each institution of higher learning (IHE) distribute its Drug-Free Campus Policy and Procedures annually to both students and employees and to all new students and employees who come to the institution after the annual distribution has taken place. In order to meet this requirement and to fully inform the campus community of the policy, the following distribution procedures will occur:

  • Distribution to students (Responsible Department: Dean of Students)
  • Referenced in annual distribution of mandated information dissemination to students
  • Published in its entirety in the University catalog
  • Published in its entirety in the class schedule
  • Distributed in its entirety at new student orientation for all new students
  • Distributed via "In the Loop for Students" annually
  • Included with the annual notification of Clery Information to students
  • Distribution to employees (Responsible Department: Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
  • Distributed annually via campus mail
  • Distributed as part of new employee orientation to ensure that all new employees receive the information
  • Included with the annual notification of Clery Information to employees

Published on the University webpage with links to related policies (Responsible Department: Finance and Administrative Services)