Drug Policies

Drug Policy
Drug Search and Seizure Procedures
Drug Free School Zone
Drugs and Eligibility for Financial Assistance

Drug Policy

        The University of Mary Washington does not tolerate the possession or use of, or being under the influence of, illegal drugs. This policy also pertains to any University-sponsored event, or while operating or traveling in any Mary Washington or state-owned vehicle.

        The University prohibits the possession, use, providing for other’s use, manufacturing, and merchandising of illegal drugs. The possession of prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription, and the use of prescription drugs in a manner inconsistent with the prescription also are prohibited. Drug paraphernalia, including hookahs, are similarly prohibited. Students charged with violating any of these policies will be subject to judicial action. Students who violate state or federal drug laws may be subject to criminal prosecution as well.

For the purpose of this regulation, illegal drugs are defined as including, but not limited to: marijuana, “spice”/”K2,” “bath salts,” cocaine, crack, ice, hashish, amphetamines, LSD compounds, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, narcotics, opiates, and other hallucinogens except when taken under a physician’s prescription in accordance with the law.

Students who wish to seek counseling concerning the use of drugs are reminded that Counseling and Psychological Services and the Health Center are available for such help. Conferences with staff from these offices are confidential, subject to the standards of privacy established in the medical and counseling professions. Others, including the Dean of Student Life, the Director of Judicial Affairs, and the Director of Residence Life are also available to help students, but cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality.

Students are strongly advised against the use or possession of legal drug analogues, including but not limited to so-called “legal marijuana substitutes” and “herbal Ecstasy.” The University investigates all suspected violations of the Drug Policy, and individuals performing authorized searches will take possession of suspicious materials, even though they may subsequently be found to be legal. Also, students are advised that the health risks associated with many of these analogues are not fully understood at this time.

Students arrested off campus for alleged violations of federal or state drug laws may be referred for judicial action on campus, particularly if the alleged violation is a felony.

UMW has made a strong commitment to be a drug-free community, and sanctions for violating UMW’s Drug Policy are severe. Illegal drugs have no place in the UMW community. Sanctions will vary depending on the type(s) and quantity of illegal drugs involved, and the nature of the violation. For example, violations involving the apparent distribution, merchandising, or manufacturing of illegal drugs, regardless of type and quantity, are likely to result in permanent expulsion from this institution. Violations involving the possession or use of marijuana might result in suspension of the student(s) in violation for at least the remainder of the academic semester, and could result in expulsion. The possession or use of other illegal drugs also may result in more severe sanctions. For other violations (for example, possession of drug paraphernalia), educational sanctions and community restitution are among the possible sanctions.

Drug Search and Seizure Procedures

        When alerted to a possible violation of the Drug Policy in the residence halls, Residence Life staff members will investigate using the following guidelines:

Plain View: Resident(s) Present in the Room – Residence Life staff will contact the University Police supervisor on duty and explain circumstances. The supervisor will determine whether a criminal search is indicated. Residence Life staff members will announce/introduce themselves, state the reason for the room check, ask the resident(s) to confirm or deny the presence of drugs and, if confirmed, ask who is responsible. Materials in plain view will be confiscated by the staff members, a thorough search of the room will be conducted, and University Police will be called to collect the material. An Incident Report will be written and distributed to appropriate administrators (i.e., Area Coordinator, Asst. Director, Director of Residence Life, Dean of Student Life).

Plain View: Resident(s) Not Present – Residence Life staff will contact the University Police supervisor on duty and explain circumstances. The supervisor will determine whether a criminal search  is indicated. In an administrative search and seizure, the Residence Life staff members will enter the room and confiscate any drugs in plain view. No search will be conducted at that time, but the room will be secured. When residents return, they will be directed to another location and the situation explained to them. Further searches may be conducted at that time, at the direction of University Police.

Administrative Search – After approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, an administrative search and seizure will be conducted by appropriate Residence Life or administrative staff members (i.e., Area Coordinator, Asst. Director on-call, Director of Residence Life, Dean of Student Life, or Senior Staff administrator on-call)  with another professional staff member. The Residence Life staff members present will knock on the door, introduce themselves by name and title, key-in, and enter the room. The police officer will remain outside the room to provide assistance if necessary. The staff members will introduce all personnel to the resident(s), state the purpose for the search, and explain that the officer is present in an administrative capacity to take possession of any illegal drugs found in the room. Staff members will ask the resident(s) to confirm or deny the presence of drugs and, if present, to identify the responsible person. A thorough search of the room will be conducted. Any drugs or paraphernalia found will be handed to the officer outside the room. This procedure will be followed whether residents are present or not present in the room. Resident(s) will be informed that an Incident Report will be written, the substances found will be analyzed by the police, and that they must schedule an appointment with the Director of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility.

Drug Free School Zone

        On April 11, 1992, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

        “Resolved by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Mary Washington that the campus of the University of Mary Washington is hereby designated a ‘drug free school zone.’” This action, which applies the provisions of the Code of Virginia Sec. 18.2-255.2 to the University of Mary Washington campus makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or distribute or possess with intent to sell, give or distribute any controlled substance, imitation controlled substance, or marijuana at any time while upon the property, including buildings and grounds or upon property open to public use within 1,000 feet of University property. Nothing in this resolution shall prohibit the authorized distribution of controlled substances.

Violation of the provisions of this resolution and the Code of Virginia shall constitute a separate and distinct felony. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year nor more than five years and fined not more than $100,000. However, if such person proves that he sold such controlled substance or marijuana only as an accommodation to another individual and not with intent to profit from any consideration received, or to induce the recipient or intended recipient to use or become addicted to or dependent upon such controlled substance or marijuana, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Prosecution under the provisions of this section of the Code of Virginia does not preclude the enforcement of other University regulations concerning the possession and/or use of drugs or drug paraphernalia.

Drugs and Eligibility for Financial Assistance

            The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) enacted in 2008 reauthorizes the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended. These laws state that any student who has been convicted of any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified below.

 If convicted of an offense involving the possession of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is as follows:

First offense

1 year

Second offense

2 years

Third offense

3 years

If convicted of an offense involving the sale of a controlled substance, the ineligibility period is as follows:

First offense

2 years

Second offense

indefinite

                  A student whose eligibility has been suspended may resume eligibility before the end of the stated ineligibility period if either (a) the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program and passes two unannounced drug tests, or (b) the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

                Effective July 1, 2010, a student whose ineligibility has been suspended due to a drug conviction may resume eligibility if the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program.