The College of the Ozarks complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989.
Statement of Zero Tolerance Policy
In order to promote its fundamental mission, a student at the College agrees to follow the College’s Zero Tolerance Policy which prohibits the illegal sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of drugs, controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia and prohibits the sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of alcohol by any student, regardless of age. These prohibitions apply to actions both on and off College property or at any College sanctioned event.
Violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy will be considered a major violation of Disciplinary Procedures which may lead to dismissal. The display of any advertising for illegal drugs, illegal controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, or alcoholic beverages, including containers, is not allowed at the College. This includes, but is not limited to clothing, signs, lamps, posters, and vehicles on campus.
Local, state and federal laws prohibit the illegal sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol. Criminal penalties for violating these laws range from fines to imprisonment for terms up to and including life in prison. In addition to any punishment imposed by the College, any student suspected of violating any federal, state, or local law proscribing the sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
The College’s campus is located in a state where the sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of cannabis (marijuana) has been decriminalized by state law when used for medical purposes with a valid physician’s certification. However, cannabis remains a controlled substance whose sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation is prohibited by and illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Therefore, students at the College remain subject to Disciplinary Procedures under the Zero Tolerance Policy for the sale, use, purchase, possession, distribution, manufacture, or dispensation of cannabis, even with a physician’s certification.
Drug Testing Policy
The College reserves the right to require a drug test from a student or employee where there is a reasonable suspicion that the College’s drug free policy has been violated. Failure to submit to a drug test is a major violation of the disciplinary rules and will result in suspension or expulsion.
Legal Sanctions for Use, Possession, or Distribution of Illicit or Illegal Drugs and Alcohol
Missouri laws prohibit persons under 21 years of age from purchasing, attempting to purchase, or possessing alcoholic beverages (RSMo. 311.325). Anyone who sells or gives any alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age violates RSM. 311.310. It is unlawful to obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages by using a fake or fraudulent identification (RSM. 311.328(3). Anyone convicted of using fraudulent identification for purposes of purchasing or in anyway receiving intoxicating liquor is in violation of RSM. 311.320. Penalties for these violations include fines of up to $1,000 and one year imprisonment. Conviction of any offenses involving the possession or use of a controlled substance; the alteration, modification, or misrepresentation of a license to operate a motor vehicle; or the possession or use of any alcohol while operating a motor vehicle will require the surrender of a driver’s license for a minimum 90 days to a maximum of one year.
Local, state, and federal laws provide specific penalties for drug and narcotic offenses. Chapter 195.211 of the Missouri Revised statutes makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, or deliver or possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver those drugs designated collectively as controlled substances. The punishment includes a term of imprisonment as well as a substantial fine.
Federal law makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, distribute, create, or dispense or to possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances. Title 21 of United States Code (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/21/841.html) provides terms of imprisonment and fines for violations of this Act. The nature of the offense and whether the person has committed any previous unlawful acts under the statute will determine the term of imprisonment as well as the amount of any fine.
Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit or Illegal Drugs or Alcohol
Medical studies indicate that users of illicit or illegal drugs or alcohol can suffer from a wide range of medical and psychological problems. Those problems can be as mild as depression or as severe as permanent brain damage, or death. At the very least, use of these substances can impair one’s ability to learn and function in society. This promotes poor application to academics as shown by poor study habits, lack of concentration, and loss of self esteem. Additional information on the health risks associated with the use of alcohol and illicit or illegal drugs is available through the campus clinic, the Dean of Student’s Office or online through the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention (http://www.edc.org).
Resources Available to Students Regarding Alcohol and Illicit or Illegal Drugs
The College’s Zero Tolerance Policy is discussed with applicants at the time they are interviewed for admission. After admission the Policy and the effects of alcohol and drugs are discussed at Character Camp and in various forums and convocations. As required under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/3614) this policy is distributed annually to students and employees of the college. Students or employees may seek counseling related to alcohol and drugs through the campus Counseling Center. Upon request confidential referrals to outside counselors can also be made.