Policy Statement Concerning the Use of; the Possession for Sale, Transfer, or Exchange of; Controlled Substances

Approved by the Board of Trustees (September 23, 1989)

One among the most serious menacing phenomena facing urban communities in general and Black communities, in particular, is that of the ever-spreading use of controlled substances or illegal drugs. Attending this phenomenon is not only the debilitating effects on the human system but the many unsettling events which are inescapably its by-products. Howard University, as an urban institution and thus a part of the larger District of Columbia community, is not insulated against this problem and its accompanying or precipitating ills and recognizes that an effective response to this menace must be on a community-wide basis.

Proper consideration of this subject must take into account and be addressed to those not yet involved as users or purveyors, those who may be helped through medically related therapy and treatment programs, and those who are engaged in the illegal possession, manufacture, transfer and/or sale of such items.

For the past several years considerable effort has been directed toward acquainting the University community with this subject in its most salient aspects. With some exceptions, work in this area has been concerned primarily with the conduct of special educational programs. These efforts, with expansion and increased emphasis, will be continued. In addition, the University through the counseling Service, the Student Health Center, the Employee Health Unit and the Institute on Drug Abuse and Addiction, will make a major effort to marshal appropriate resources, on an interdisciplinary basis, to contribute to the campaign currently being waged against this destructive force. Thus, all of these University resources will be concerned with comprehensive drug prevention/treatment programs and services.

Non-medically Prescribed Use of Drugs

Howard University does not sanction the use of drugs that are not prescribed by authorized health professionals. It is strongly urged that persons who have not experimented with or made use of such substances should avoid their use at all costs. Science to date has made no showing or claim that such non-prescribed use is in any way medically beneficial. For individuals interested in this subject, educational materials are available at the Counseling Service, the Student Health Center, the Employee Health Unit and the Institute on Drug Abuse Addiction, as well as selected locations throughout the District of Columbia. Individuals with drug-related problems should seek professional help, without delay, from these University resources, where such assistance is handled with the utmost confidentiality. Students with drug problems or concerns in this area are encouraged to seek help from or visit these agencies without fear of punitive consequences such as disciplinary police actions or expulsion from school.

Possession of Controlled Substances For Sale, Exchange, or Transfer, or The Sale, Exchange, Transfer or Manufacture of Controlled Substances

The subject of individual involvement in the handling of illegal drugs is viewed by the University in an entirely different light. Federal and local laws make it abundantly clear that possession of controlled substances for the purpose of sale, exchange, or transfer as well as the manufacture, sale, transfer, or exchange of controlled substances are prohibited, and individuals responsible for violations of such laws are to be treated with severity. The University, as a part of the larger community, is similarly bound by law and of necessity and must act in similar fashion with offenders of its own regulations operative in this area. Although the University recognizes the need to provide a variety of remedial services to persons who fall victim to drugs, in the hope that causes of such problems can be removed; it does not intend to offer a haven for persons who intentionally violate its own standards of conduct or Federal and local laws dealing with this subject.

Howard University views illegal conduct in this connection with complete seriousness and the urgency of the matter deserves the immediate attention of each individual. It should especially be noted in this regard that students engaged in illegal conduct of this type are subject to summary SUSPENSION, EXPULSION, and/or TERMINATION, aside from or in addition to penalties which may flow from court disposition of such matters. Persons not formally connected with the University but who nevertheless are involved in illegal drug activity on University premises will be subject to ARREST and PROSECUTION. Involvement with illegal drugs subjects a person to criminal penalties, including felony conviction and often times imprisonment.

The University feels that each individual should give serious consideration to the possible permanent harm a conviction may do later in life. It is possible that the affected person will face the loss of many employees and citizenship privileges, such as professional licensing (law, medicine, certified public accountant, and the like), the right to vote and employment by governmental agencies and in many instances, private industry.

For those who would require proof, it has been clearly demonstrated that neither slavery nor compulsory segregation succeeded in robbing our people of their potency. To now permit the drug menace to signal the demise of our people would be no more a tribute properly befitting the efforts of our ancestors and contemporaries who have labored long and hard in the vineyard toward total liberation than would it be a proper legacy for future generations of our youth.