Drug Policy

 

The University of Mary Washington does not tolerate the possession or use of, or being under the influence of, marijuana or illegal drugs on campus, at 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, cultivating, manufacturing, and merchandising of marijuana or 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. Legal drug paraphernalia are prohibited unless the student is 21 years of age or older. (Hookahs are prohibited regardless of the student’s age.)

Although the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana was legalized for individuals 21 years of age or older in Virginia on July 1, 2021, the possession, use, providing for other’s use, or being under the influence of marijuana, including for medical purposes, is not allowed on campus, at any University-sponsored event, or while operating or traveling in any Mary Washington or state-owned vehicle, regardless of an individual’s age. Similarly, the sale, manufacture, trafficking, and/or cultivation of marijuana for any reason, including for medical purposes, is not allowed on campus, at any University-sponsored event, or while operating or traveling in any Mary Washington or state-owned vehicle, regardless of an individual’s age.

Illegal drugs are defined as including, but not limited to, cocaine, crack, ice, amphetamines, LSD compounds, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, narcotics, “spice’/”K2,” “bath salts,” opiates (including heroin), and other hallucinogens except when taken under a physician’s prescription in accordance with the law.

Drug paraphernalia are defined as, but are not limited to, pipes, bongs, hookahs, bubblers, grinders, carts, and dabs.

Students charged with violating this Drug Policy will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Responsibility (OSCAR). Students found in violation of this Drug Policy are subject to being sanctioned. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, educational programs, reflection or research papers, disciplinary probation, temporary or permanent removal from residential housing, suspension from the University, or expulsion from the University. Students who violate state or federal drug laws may be subject to criminal prosecution as well.

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 also may be charged with a violation of this policy and referred to OSCAR.

The Talley Center for Counseling Services (TCCS) offers free counseling to enrolled undergraduate students. Both individual and group counseling services are available. TCCS will refer to off-campus providers that specialize in drug and/or alcohol use issues if it is determined that a student is in need of specialized treatments, such as detoxification, psychiatric care, or a specialized substance abuse treatment facility. TCCS can provide brief counseling to students who may be abusing substances, but the clinician reserves the right to refer to the student to another provider off campus if he or she determines that the level of care is higher than what TCCS is able to offer the student. Additionally, weekly on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) meetings and weekly recovery support groups are available. For more information about these, and other resources available through our “Eagles in Recovery” program, please contact Associate Director of Residence Life Hunter Rauscher at 540/654-1058 or jrausche@umw.edu, or contact the Director of Student Conduct and Responsibility Dr. Ray Tuttle at 540/654-1660 or rtuttle@umw.edu.

UMW’s Drug Policy also can be accessed here.

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.

Federal and State Penalties

Under the federal Controlled Substances Act and the Virginia Drug Control Act, the law penalizes individuals for unlawful manufacturing, distribution, use, and possession of controlled substances. The penalties vary based on the type of drug involved, possession and intent to distribute. Federal law sets penalties for first offenses ranging from one year to life imprisonment and/or $100,000 to $4 million fines. Convictions under state law may be misdemeanor or felony crimes with sanctions ranging from six months to life imprisonment and/or $250 to $100,000 fines.

Local Ordinances

Individuals found in violation of the ordinance prohibiting public intoxication shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.