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Drug Policy


The unlawful manufacture, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance on the Hampshire College campus or as part of any College activity or business off the College premises is prohibited. This includes the unlawful or unauthorized use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If a student is found responsible for violation of this policy sanctions up to and including expulsion and referral for prosecution may result as deemed appropriate by the dean of students office/office of community standards and student accountability following review through the community standards process. Minor violations of policy are likely to result in a community standards review and an assigned accountability and community restoration plan.

Local, state, and federal laws make illegal use of drugs and alcohol a serious crime. Conviction can lead to imprisonment, fines, assigned community service, and loss of federal financial aid funds. A felony conviction for such an offense can prevent you from entering many fields of employment or professions. Massachusetts has criminal penalties for use of controlled substances, or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug. In general, narcotics, addictive drugs, and drugs with high potential for abuse have heavier penalties.

In addition, it is illegal under Massachusetts State law to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be in the company of a person known to possess heroin.

The College is subject to federal laws, including the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act, that require recipients of federal funds to prohibit the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana at educational institutions, regardless of state law. These regulations apply to all members of the campus community.

  • The use, possession, or growing of marijuana is not permitted at Hampshire College, on any other College property, or at College sponsored events on or off campus.
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is not permitted at Hampshire College, on any other College property, or at College sponsored events on or off campus.

Drug paraphernalia is defined under Massachusetts State Law as, items “one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance.”

Persons convicted of drug possession under state or federal laws are ineligible for federal student grants and loans for up to one year after the first conviction, five years after the second; the penalty for distributing drugs is loss of benefits for five years after the first conviction, ten years after the second, and permanently after the third.

Statement on Medical and Adult Use of Marijuana
Hampshire College receives federal funding through Title IV in the form of student financial aid (grants, loans, and work-study programs) and through federal research grants. As a condition of accepting this money, Hampshire is required to certify that it complies with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) (20 U.S.C. 1011i; 34 C.F.R. part 86). The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which does not recognize the difference between medical and adult use of marijuana. Thus, to comply with the Federal Drug Free School and Communities Act and avoid losing federal funding, Hampshire College prohibits all marijuana use, including medical marijuana, and students may be sanctioned for its use.

Therefore, marijuana prescribed for medical purposes or obtained legally is prohibited at Hampshire College even though Massachusetts state law permits its use. Students who have a documented disability may apply for accommodations, including a waiver of the campus residency requirement, through the housing-based accommodation request process. As with any housing accommodation request, the College will engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations for the disability. Accommodations may be given that support a student's on-campus residency requirement or waive the residency requirement. Please consult with the Accessibility Resources and Services office for accommodation request processes.