Drug Abuse Prevention

Policy on the Unlawful Possession, Use or Distribution of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol by Students.

I. Thomas Edison State College students are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a drug in the College.
A. A drug means a controlled dangerous substance, analog or immediate precursor as listed in Schedules I through V in the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, N.J.S.A. 24:21 1, et seq., and as modified in any regulation issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health. It also includes controlled substances in schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Federal Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C. 812). The term shall not include tobacco or tobacco products or distilled spirits, wine or malt beverages as they are defined or used in N.J.S.A. 33:1 et seq.

B. “Student” means all Thomas Edison State College students who are enrolled in degree programs or certificate programs.

C. “College” means the physical area of operation of Thomas Edison State College, including buildings, grounds and parking facilities controlled by the College. It includes any field location or site at which a student is engaged, or authorized to engage, in academic work activity, and includes any travel between such sites.

II. Sanctions
A. Any student who is found to be involved in the unlawful manufacture, distribution or dispensation of a drug in the College may face disciplinary sanctions (consistent with local, state and federal law) up to and including termination of the status and referral to the appropriate legal authorities for prosecution.

B. Conviction (see definition option D) of any student for the unlawful manufacture, distribution or dispensation of drugs in the College will result in the immediate implementation of dismissal or expulsion proceedings.

C. Any student who is convicted of a federal or state offense consisting of the unlawful possession or use of a drug in the College will be referred to an authorized agency for counseling, and shall be required to satisfactorily participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Failure to participate as outlined above may result in dismissal.

D. “Conviction” means a finding of guilt, or a plea of guilty, before a court of competent jurisdiction, and, where applicable, a plea of “nolo contendere.” A conviction is deemed to occur at the time the plea is accepted or verdict returned. It does not include entry into and successful completion of a pretrial intervention program, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-12 et seq., or a conditional discharge, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:36A-1.

III. Examples of New Jersey Drug Law Penalties

  • Six-month loss or delay of a driver’s license for conviction of any drug offense
  • $500 to $300,000 fine for conviction of various drug offenses
  • Forfeiture of property including automobiles or houses if used in a drug offense
  • Doubled penalties for any adult convicted of giving or dealing drugs to someone under 18 years of age
  • 25 years in prison without parole for any adult convicted of being in charge of a drug-dealing ring.

IV. Drug and Alcohol Counseling
Referrals may be made to agencies listed in the New Jersey Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, “Directory of Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Facilities,” and the New Jersey Division of Alcoholism, “Treatment Directory.”

Students who reside in New Jersey may be referred to treatment centers listed in the above directories. Out-of-state students may be referred to agencies in their respective states that are listed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directory, “Citizen’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Directory.”

V. Appeals
Any student accused of unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and/or alcohol may request an internal hearing before the College hearing officer prior to disciplinary action or dismissal.

VI. Health Risks Associated With Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Taken in large quantities over long periods of time, alcohol can damage the liver, brain and heart. Repeated use of alcohol can cause damage to the lungs, brain, liver and kidneys. Death due to a drug overdose is always a possibility for the drug user.

In addition to physical damage caused by alcohol and drug abuse, there are mental effects such as changes in mood and behavior and lack of interest and drive. The College will provide information concerning drug abuse to any student, officer or employee of the College.

Information and referrals to agencies offering drug abuse counseling can be obtained from the Office of Student Special Services at (609) 984-1141, ext. 3445.