Part A: Policy Statement

North Hennepin Community College recognizes that the misuse of alcohol and other drugs is a serious problem in our society and our community. The College seeks to promote a healthy and responsible campus environment which is conducive to teaching and learning.

In compliance with MnSCU Policy 5.18, the Federal Drug Free Schools and Community Act, and the Federal Drug Free Work Act, the College has adopted the following policies regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs:

  • No employee shall use, possess, manufacture, sell, or otherwise distribute, any alcoholic beverage, illegal drug or any controlled substance while on-campus or while off-campus during scheduled work hours.
  • No student shall use, possess, manufacture, sell, or otherwise distribute any alcoholic beverage, illegal drug or any controlled substance while on-campus or while off-campus and involved in a College-sponsored activity, service, project, program, or work situation.
  • No employee shall report to work and no student shall report to campus while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, which affects alertness, coordination, reaction, response, judgment, decision-making, or safety.

Part B: Exceptions and Exemptions

  • The medically authorized use of a prescription drug is exempt from this policy.
  • An exception to use alcohol for specific events or for instructional purposes requires prior approval by the College President or designee, in accordance with a checklist outlined in MnSCU Board Procedures 5.18.1 and 5.18.2.
  • Although the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Law and program allows seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, the possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Campus Security Act, and Board Policy 5.18 Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled Substances on Campus. Therefore, the use, possession, production, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana continues to be prohibited while a student is on college or university owned or controlled property or any function authorized or controlled by the college or university.

Part C: Sanctions

College Action

Violators of this policy are subject to the following consequences, including timely involvement of law enforcement agencies when appropriate:

  • Employees found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to any one or all of the following: oral and written reprimand, suspension, termination, and referral for prosecution.
  • Students found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action according to the Student Code of Conduct, including, but not limited to any one or all of the following: warning, confiscation, suspension, expulsion, and referral for prosecution.
  • Visitors found to have violated this policy are subject to removal from campus or College-sponsored off-campus events or activities.

Minnesota Law

Minnesota has many statutes which regulate and control the use and abuse of alcohol. For example, driving while under the influence (DUI) may result in a fine, jail time, and/or revocation of driver's license. Possession of alcohol under age 21 or use of false identification to purchase alcohol may result in a fine. Furnishing alcohol to persons under 21 is punishable by a fine and/or time in prison.

Federal Law

Federal law provides varying penalties for controlled substance crimes. For example, illegal possession of a controlled substance may result in a fine of $100,000 and up to one year in prison for the first offense. Additional penalties may include forfeiture of personal property or the denial of federal student financial aid benefits or other federal licenses and benefits. Trafficking in drugs such as heroin or cocaine may result in life imprisonment.

Part D. Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drugs

Abuse and addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and illegal substances cost Americans upwards of half a trillion dollars a year, considering their combined medical, economic, criminal, and social impact. Every year, abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol contributes to the death of more than 100,000 Americans, while tobacco is linked to an estimated 440,000 deaths per year.

People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction.

  • Babies exposed to legal and illegal drugs in the womb may be born premature and underweight. This drug exposure can slow the child's intellectual development and affect behavior later in life.
  • Adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically, and drop out of school. They are at risk of unplanned pregnancies, violence, and infectious diseases.
  • Adults who abuse drugs often have problems thinking clearly, remembering, and paying attention. They often develop poor social behaviors as a result of their drug abuse, and their work performance and personal relationships suffer.
  • Parents' drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes and child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the well-being and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.

 For a full description of health risks associated with alcohol and drugs, visit National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Part E. Resources for Assistance 

In its commitment to provide a healthy and responsible campus environment, NHCC offers the following resources:  

  • College Counseling Department (for students) 763-424-0703 (TTY 763-424-0949).
  • College Human Resources Office (for employees) 763-424-0955.
  • State Employee Assistance Program 651-296-0765 (TTY 651-297-5533).

In addition to campus resources, contact the Counseling, Advising and Career Planning Office for a current listing of local resources and treatment centers.

Comprehensive sources of alcohol and drug treatment programs may be found at: