Handbook at The University of West Georgia

Log On

A Drug Free Campus

Implications, Consequences, and Reactions to Drugs and Alcohol
Standards of Conduct

The University of West Georgia prohibits the unlawful possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, and use of illicit drugs and alcohol on the institutional premises in accordance with the Drug-Free Communities and Schools Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) and the Georgia Drug-Free Postsecondary Act of 1990.

Applicable Legal Sanctions for Unlawful use of Illicit Drugs or Alcohol

The Georgia Penal Code defines "Controlled Substances" in Drug Schedules I-V, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), Sections 16-13-35 to 16-13-39, covering 14 pages of text, including a long list of chemical compounds, opiates, hallucinogens, derivatives, isomers, and other materials. The State Board of pharmacy may add new material to the list as required.

An even broader category of dangerous drugs is defined in O.C.G.A. Section 16-13-71, covering 41 pages of text describing hundreds of chemicals and other compounds. The Georgia General Assembly may add drugs to the list as required.

Criminal Punishment

- State of Georgia:

"First Offender": A person never before convicted of possession of a small amount of controlled substance may, at the discretion of the judge, be afforded the first offender treatment, resulting in no record of any conviction, if the defendant successfully completes a court-monitored comprehensive rehabilitative program (O.C.G.A. 16-13-2 (a)).

Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana may result in imprisonment not to exceed 12 months and /or a fine not to exceed $1,000, or "public works" not to exceed 12 months (O.C.G.A. 16-13-2 (b)).

Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by confinement of not less than one year nor more than 10 years (O.C.G.A. 16-13-30j (2)).

Trafficking in marijuana is a felony. Depending on the amount, confinement ranges from 5 to 15 years with fines from $100,000 to $1,000,000 (O.C.G.A. 16-13-31-(c)).

The penalty for possession of Nitrous Oxide is a felony and penalties of one to six years confinement and $5,000 to $10,000. (O.C.G.A. 16-13-79).

The penalty for violation of the "controlled substances" provision are numerous and they vary, depending on the drug schedule under which the substance is listed, whether the act charged includes trafficking, and how much of the substance is involved. Penalties range from 5 to 30 years and include life for a second conviction of trafficking narcotics (Schedule II).

Possession of an alcoholic beverage by any person under age 21 may result in confinement, not to exceed six months, or a fine of not more than $300, or both.

Georgia law specifies property which is subject to seizure by the state under public condemnation action, if such property was used in a criminal violation.

- Federal Sanctions for Drug Offenders:

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841-858 describes the acts and criminal penalties and civil and criminal forfeiture provisions established by Congress, covering 28 pages of text.

Title 21, U.S.C., Section 812, contains five schedules of "controlled substances". Schedule I describes certain opiates; Schedule II contains opium, cocaine, and other addictive substances; Schedule III lists amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP) and other like matter; Schedule IV involves barbiturates; Schedule V concerns codeine and atropine sulfate, among other preparations. The Attorney General of the United States is authorized to add items to the several schedules.

The manufacture, or distribution of various controlled substances, depending upon their schedule sequence and the amount of substance involved, is punishable by confinement ranging from not less than 5 nor more than 40 years and fines from $2,000,000 to $10,000,000.

The penalty for "simple possession" of illegal drugs ranges from 1 to 20 years, depending upon the substance schedule, amount possessed, and the number of convictions (Title 21, Section 844).

The distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance is punishable by twice the sanction provided in Section 841 (b) (not less than 10 nor more than 80 years, depending upon the schedule and amount), where such offense was performed on or within one thousand feet of a college or university. Section (a) denies certain "federal benefits" to drug traffickers and possessors, such as federal grants, contracts, loans, and professional licenses.

Section 853 provides for forfeiture of possession and title to the federal government of any property used in drug offenses.

Health Risks Associated with the use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Drug and Alcohol abuse result in significant health problems for those who use them. Drug and alcohol use in the workplace not only contributes to lost productivity, but also causes tremendous costs related to absenteeism, accidents, health care, loss of trained personnel, and employee treatment programs. Drug and alcohol abuse causes physical and emotional dependence. Users may develop a craving for these drugs or alcohol and their bodies may respond to the presence of drugs in ways that lead to increased drug and alcohol use. Certain drugs, such as opiates , barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine create physical dependence. With prolonged use, these drugs become part of the body chemistry. When a regular user stops taking the drug, the body experiences the physiological trauma known as withdrawal. Psychological dependence occurs when taking drugs becomes the center of the user's life. Drugs have an effect on the mind and body for weeks or even months after drug use has stopped. Drugs and alcohol can interfere with memory, sensation, and perception. They distort experiences and cause loss of self control that can lead users to harm others as well as themselves.

The University Health Service has other information as to the effects of drugs and alcohol.

Drug and Alcohol Educational Counseling, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Programs Available to Students and Employees:

The University Health Service, Department of Residence Life, Student Development Center, University Police and the Department of Student Activities have many on-going programs that specifically address alcohol and drug abuse problems. For example, the University Health Service provides numerous hand-out pamphlets on the facts of alcohol and drugs and utilizes the Student Development Center resources for counseling services.

Programs are provided promoting healthy lifestyles with emphasis on awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Employees with substance abuse problems are encouraged to seek professional assistance within the parameters of the institutional personnel policies and procedures.

Sanctions:

Faculty, staff, and students are expected to adhere to the policies of the University and observe the basic standards of good conduct, meet acceptable performance standards, and observe all local, state and federal laws relative to unlawful use of drugs and alcohol. Penalties for violations of these standards range from warnings and probation to expulsion, loss of academic credit, suspension, temporary or permanent suspension and withdrawal of organization recognition, referral to the legal system for prosecution, demotion, and termination of employment. Detailed sanctions are defined in Appendix A of the Student Handbook, Board of Regents Policy Manual, Faculty Handbook, and Classified Employee Handbook. Students should also see UWG Students, Alcohol and Other Drugs in the Student Handbook.

University Police follow a policy of zero tolerance for violation of all laws involving alcohol and drugs. All persons found in violation of these laws are arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.