This Policy describes the College’s expectations of its students regarding the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and marijuana; sanctions enforced under College policy; and information regarding campus resources for substance abuse. Additional treatment resources and other referral information can be found in the “Resources and Referrals” section.
The Dean of Students Office is responsible for interpreting and implementing this Policy.
Culture of Care Philosophy
Occidental is committed to providing a safe campus environment that encourages intellectual, cultural, and social learning and personal development. Each community member must make informed decisions regarding their personal use of alcohol and other drugs, and those decisions should reflect Occidental’s “Culture of Care:” a respect for themselves and the community at large.
Occidental takes an educational approach when working with students involved in alcohol and other drug policy violations. Every effort is made to connect students with appropriate resources on campus including, but not limited to: counseling, medical, and mental health services.
Student Alcohol Policy
Expectations of Behavior
Occidental respects the rights of community members to engage in alcohol consumption legally and responsibly, which can be compatible with healthy adult behavior and successful social events. As such, Occidental has identified these expectations of student behavior to support the safe and legal consumption of alcohol. Any student who consumes alcohol remains responsible for any violation of the College’s Code of Student Conduct committed while under the influence.
Students are expected to comply with the following:
No under-age drinking
: Students under the age of 21 may not possess or consume alcohol. A state of intoxication implies consumption. Possession of open containers by anyone under the age of 21, including empty bottles used as decoration, is prohibited.
Respect for the community while under the influence
: Students in lawful possession of alcohol shall not disrupt the community in the residence halls, on campus, or in the surrounding environment. Students who use alcohol shall do so in a way that does not compromise or infringe on the rights and safety of others.
Alcohol possession/consumption in dry residence halls
: Students shall not possess, consume or be in the presence of alcohol - regardless of a student’s age - at any time in the following buildings (dry residence halls): Bell Young Hall, Pauley Hall, Stewart-Cleland (Stewie) Hall, Braun Hall, Chilcott Hall, and the Substance Free Living Residence Hall.
Alcohol possession/consumption on other areas of campus
: Alcohol is not permitted in any common area of the residence halls. Students of legal drinking age who are not living in dry residence halls may possess and consume alcohol in their residence hall room. Open containers of alcohol are prohibited on campus grounds outside of special events which are approved by the College in advance.
Responsible drinking and social events
: All social events should reflect responsible drinking practices. The following are prohibited:
- Public intoxication;
- Organized drinking games;
- Items used for rapid or mass consumption of alcohol or any other fluids (such as funnels or luges); and
- Events where participants are pressured or expected to consume large and/or excessive amounts of alcohol.
The College strongly discourages “pre-gaming" and/or doing “shots" of hard alcohol because these behaviors increase both the dangers associated with intoxication and the risk of alcohol poisoning. Virtually all of the alcohol poisoning cases on campus involve hard alcohol consumption and occur from “pre-gaming."
Supplying alcohol to peers and guests
: Providing alcohol to underage individuals is always prohibited. Hosts are responsible for their guests’ behavior and alcohol consumption. Guests include 1) individuals invited by or signed in for by the student; 2) individuals who are not personally invited by the student, but who attend the student’s social gathering in response to a general invitation; and/or 3) any individual whose presence is known by the student and either passively or actively accepted (meaning they were not refused or ejected by the student).
Supplying alcohol to prospective students
: Giving or offering alcohol to a prospective student is strictly prohibited. Any information the College obtains concerning the use of alcohol by prospective students during campus visits will be shared with the Admissions department and will be added to the prospective student’s file and may be used in decisions about whether the prospective student will be admitted to the College.
Serving alcohol at student-sponsored events
: Any student-sponsored event where alcohol is served must follow the Office of Student Life protocols and policies (see Campus Events Coordinated by Students Policy). Serving alcohol to intoxicated persons or underage students is prohibited by both College policy and applicable law. Bulk containers, kegs, or any alcohol dispensing-device requiring a tap are not permitted on campus, with the exception of a registered event with a licensed bartender present.
Sale of alcoholic beverages
: The unlicensed sale of alcoholic beverages is always prohibited. This includes 1) selling of tickets; 2) charging admission; and/or 3) accepting donations for any event where alcoholic beverages are provided and/or for any activity involving the service or sale of alcohol without a license. Student organizations may not use ASOC funds to purchase or provide alcohol at social events, either on or off campus.
Driving under the influence
: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is prohibited by College policy and applicable law.
Off-campus policy violation
: Students associated with Occidental who violate any College policy, city laws or ordinances, or state or federal laws while off-campus remain subject to disciplinary action by the College and/or arrest by law enforcement.
Student Drug Policy
Occidental students are expected to 1) comply with federal, state, and local laws; and 2) comply with this Policy. Federal and state laws subject persons involved in the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs to criminal action, including arrest, fine, and imprisonment. Any violation of this Policy will result in disciplinary action.
Expectations of Behavior
Medical marijuana possession
: Because marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the College does not allow any exceptions to this policy for the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of marijuana for medical purposes, even if such conduct otherwise meets the qualifications of the California Compassionate Use Act, or any other present or future legislation that is specific to the state of California. Students who believe they may be adversely affected by this policy should contact the Dean of Students Office for more information.
Supplying prospective students with drugs and/or pharmaceuticals
: Distributing or offering illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals to a prospective student is strictly prohibited. Any information the College obtains concerning the use of illegal drugs, pharmaceuticals, or other substances by prospective students during campus visits will be shared with the Admissions department and will be added to the prospective student’s file and may be used in decisions about whether the prospective student will be admitted to the College.
Awareness of illegal activity
: Students who are aware of the presence of any activities or items prohibited by this policy and who do not report the activities or items may also be subject to disciplinary action.
Students who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action and may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal, state, or local law.
Students who are suspected to have violated or be in violation of this Policy shall be referred to the Office of Student Conduct, where they shall meet with a conduct officer to assess responsibility and discuss possible sanctions in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct. Because of the myriad factors involved in the decision to impose sanctions, and the type of sanction issued, there is no “one size fits all” approach. Rather, in imposing sanctions, the Office of Student Conduct will consider all relevant facts and circumstances and will strive to strike a balance between upholding Occidental’s community standards and the educational development of its students.
The possible sanctions for violation of this policy (including expulsion) are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. All sanctions are cumulative, and a student’s past conduct history is taken into consideration when issuing a sanction. Sanctions may also be enhanced based on the severity of the behavior and impact on the College community. More than one sanction may be imposed for any single violation.
As a general rule, law enforcement agencies permit educational institutions to address the illegal use of drugs by their students in accordance with their disciplinary policies and procedures. However, in some circumstances, the College cannot deny the Los Angeles Police Department or other federal or state narcotics officers the right of access to the campus or entry into College buildings for the purpose of investigating the illegal manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs. The College reserves the right to request assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department or other law enforcement agency in connection with a student’s manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia.
Occidental encourages students to approach any Dean, Resident Advisor, administrator, staff or faculty member with whom they feel comfortable if they suspect that they or one of their fellow students has an alcohol or drug abuse problem. Please note that reports may not be kept confidential.
Counselors at Emmons Wellness Center can provide consultation and referrals to students with concerns related to alcohol and drug use or abuse. All counselors have been trained to assure appropriate confidentiality of information gathered in these sessions.
Additional treatment resources and other referral information can be found in the “Resources and Referrals” section.
Medical Amnesty Policy
The welfare of students is of the highest importance to the College. This medical amnesty clause is included in this policy to promote student safety and to encourage students, bystanders, and third parties to promptly notify the appropriate campus staff or local emergency services when the need for medical attention arises.
Any member of the College community who becomes aware that a student (or other member of the community) is so intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, pharmaceuticals, or any other substance that they require medical attention should immediately seek appropriate assistance from Campus Safety, Residential Education staff, or other local emergency services.
Under this medical amnesty clause, when one or more students experience a medical emergency and/or psychological emergency/crisis while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, pharmaceuticals, or any other substance (the “student(s) in crisis”) and either the student them self or any one or more bystander(s) proactively requests medical assistance from a campus resource or local emergency services, the College will 1) mitigate the resulting disciplinary actions for the student(s) in crisis and 2) provide resources and support to the student(s) or bystander(s) calling for help.
Once the emergency has passed, student(s) in crisis will have an educational and/or developmental conversation with a College staff member to help them learn and grow from the experience. If the student(s) in crisis meaningfully engages in this conversation, any Code of Student Conduct sanctions imposed on the student(s) in crisis may be reduced or negated. If the student(s) in crisis do not meaningfully engage in this conversation, they will be subject to disciplinary action consistent with this Campus-Wide Alcohol and Drug-Free Policy. The College does not grant amnesty to students found to have engaged in possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs or other similarly severe crimes.
While the College reserves the right to refuse to grant amnesty under certain extenuating circumstances, student(s) calling for assistance on behalf of a student(s) in crisis will generally be granted amnesty. Because the College puts the health and safety of students first, the College will approach serious or repeated incidents with a higher degree of concern and a high level of intervention, which may include enhanced sanctions or a denial of amnesty.
This amnesty clause is intended to promote the health and safety of students relative to alcohol and other drugs. As such, students who are found to be in violation of other College policies during or arising from the same incident may be subject to conduct sanctions pursuant to those policies. This clause does not protect students from actions taken by law enforcement personnel.
Application to Student Organizations
In circumstances where a student group or organization is found to have hosted an event where medical assistance was required or sought for an attendee, the group/organization (depending upon the circumstances) may be held responsible for violations of this Campus-Wide Alcohol and Drug-Free Policy through the conduct process.
However, the group/organization's willingness to seek medical assistance for a member or guest will be viewed as a mitigating factor in determining any sanction for the violations of this Campus-Wide Alcohol and Drug-Free Policy. For more information on student groups and organizations, please review section D.3 of the Student Code of Conduct.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits College administrators to notify the parents or guardians of students who violate campus alcohol and drug policies. Parents or guardians may also be notified to inform them of the events surrounding their student's emergency medical transport for treatment or evaluation due to presumed consumption of alcohol and/or illegal drugs. The College reserves the right to notify a student’s parents in accordance with this policy. Refer to the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)" section of the Student Handbook for more information.
Occidental is committed to maintaining a workplace free from the effects of alcohol and illegal drugs. This policy applies to all Oxy employees, including but not limited to: union and non-union employees, staff, casual and temporary employees, administrators, and faculty. Employees with questions about this policy or issues related to drug or alcohol use in the workplace may contact Human Resources without fear of reprisal.
Employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs at any time —including during work hours, non-work hours, and meal and break periods—except that employees will not be penalized for use of cannabis during non-work hours and away from the workplace. Employees are expected to report to work unimpaired by illegal drugs.
This policy does not prohibit the appropriate use of prescribed medications, to the extent that it does not impair an employee's job performance or jeopardize their own safety or the safety of others. The legal use of prescribed medication is permitted on the job only if it does not impair the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of their job effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace. Employees who take prescribed medication(s) that could or does impair their job performance or jeopardize their safety or the safety of others, or who believe they need a reasonable accommodation, should inform their supervisor and Human Resources. Employees are not required to, and should not, disclose the medical condition for which they are taking the prescribed medication. Employees who report to work while under the influence of prescribed medication, and who have not otherwise complied with this policy, may be disciplined, up to and including termination. For more information on how to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Human Resources.
Employee Alcohol Policy
The College does not condone abusive or inappropriate use of alcohol, including incidence of drunkenness or any level of intoxication during normal work hours or while performing work for the College. Employees are expected to report to work unimpaired by alcohol.
The College is not a “dry” campus. On occasion, the College hosts or facilitates events where alcohol is served. While participating in business-related or College-approved social events where alcohol is served, employees are expected to:
- use good judgment;
- consume alcohol moderately;
- remain responsible, professional, and sober at all times; and
- abide by all state and federal laws related to alcoholic beverages (including laws prohibiting the operation of a vehicle while under the influence).
To the full extent permitted by law, the College reserves the right to require all applicants for employment to submit to panel testing procedures designed to detect the presence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol.
If the College has a reasonable suspicion that an employee has violated this policy, it will investigate, which may include an unannounced search of College premises or property and/or the employee’s personal property. Occidental may also order any employee reasonably suspected of having used or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty to take a test for the presence of drugs or alcohol. Such a test will be conducted by an independent laboratory at Occidental’s expense. Any employee asked to undergo a test may be placed on leave until further notice. Failure to consent to testing when requested may result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination, even for a first offense.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
The College encourages employees with alcohol or drug problems to seek treatment and/or rehabilitation. Employees are responsible for seeking and obtaining assistance from Human Resources
alcohol and drug problems lead to discipline or termination. An employee’s decision to seek assistance will not be used against the employee in any disciplinary proceedings. However, the College’s performance standards must be maintained, and alcohol or drug abuse is never an excuse for performance failures requiring corrective action.
Employees who have a drug or alcohol problem that has not resulted in and is not the immediate subject of disciplinary action may request approval from Human Resources to take unpaid time off to participate in a rehabilitation or treatment program. Employees may use any accrued, unused sick leave and vacation time to receive compensation during such a leave.
Employees who are eligible for and have not exhausted their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) will be granted an unpaid leave for treatment/rehabilitation. Leave for employees not eligible for or who have exhausted their FMLA/CFRA leave may be granted if i) the employee agrees to abstain from use of the problem substance and abide by all College policies, rules, and prohibitions relating to conduct in the workplace, and ii) granting the leave will not cause undue hardship. Any treatment/rehabilitation leave will be counted against the employee’s FMLA/CFRA leave entitlement.
Employees who wish to discuss options for treatment and/or rehabilitation or who have questions or concerns about substance dependency or abuse are encouraged to discuss these matters with Human Resources. Human Resources can provide assistance and referrals to appropriate resources in the community. In addition, the College provides an Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”) for full- and part-time regular employees. Employees who do not wish to contact Human Resources may contact the EAP provider directly at 1- 800-964-3577 or www.guidanceresources.com.
Sanctions for Violations of the Employee Drug or Alcohol Policies
Employees who violate these policies will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment. The type of discipline imposed may differ due to Collective Bargaining Agreements or other contractual obligations of the College.
The College supports the enforcement of all local, state and federal laws and ordinances concerning drugs and alcohol (see “For Everyone” section below) by the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Employee violations of this policy which are also a violation of such laws and ordinances may be referred to local law enforcement for prosecution. Violations of applicable laws and ordinances can result in misdemeanor or felony convictions and/or the imposition of other legal sanctions, including but not limited to fines, imprisonment, forfeiture of personal and real property, loss of driving privileges, and required attendance at substance abuse education or treatment programs.
For Employees working on Federal or State Grants or Contracts:
The Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D) and the California Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990 require that College employees who work directly on a federal or state contract or grant must abide by this policy as a condition of their employment.
Employees covered by this subsection must notify the Office of the General Counsel within five (5) calendar days of any conviction for any criminal drug statute violation which occurred (i) in the workplace or (ii) while on College business. Occidental is required to (1) notify the federal/state contracting or granting agency within ten (10) calendar days of receiving notice of such conviction and (2) take appropriate corrective action
require the employee to satisfactorily complete an available counseling, treatment, or approved substance abuse assistance or rehabilitation program within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving notice of the conviction.
California State Alcoholic Beverage Laws and Penalties
In compliance with state and local laws, Occidental prohibits the illegal use of alcohol on College property and as part of any College-sponsored activity (on- or off-campus). Violations of any applicable law, even where they occur on College grounds, are committed at the risk of the individual and are not the responsibility of the College.
California laws regarding the use of alcoholic beverages are highlighted below and are accurate as of June 2023. The laws are abbreviated for general use and may not cover all situations. It is the responsibility of the server or consumer of alcoholic beverages to be aware of, and abide by, all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances.
California alcohol-related offenses and penalties include:
: Possession of any can, bottle, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage that has been opened, or a seal broken, or the contents of which have been partially removed, in any city and county owned public place can result in a fine (California Business and Professions Code section 25620 (a)).
Minor in Possession (MIP)
: Any person under the age of 21 years who has any alcoholic beverage in their possession on any street or highway or in any public place or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of $250 or the person shall be required to perform not less than 24 hours or more than 32 hours of community service hours (California Business and Professions Code section 25662 (a)).
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
: Driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher or driving under the influence of a drug or combination of both is a misdemeanor with possible fines, county prison sentence, and driver's license suspension (California Vehicle Code sections 23152 (a) & (b)).
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) While Under Age 21
: Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .05 or higher can have their vehicles towed and driver's license suspended, be charged a fine, and be required to complete a mandatory alcohol education program of three months or longer (California Vehicle Code sections 23136 and 23140).
Cycling Under the influence (CUI)
: Bicycling under the influence of an alcoholic beverage can result in jail sentencing and a base fine of $250. Riders under 21 may also lose their driver's license for one year (California Vehicle Code section 21200.5).
Providing False Identification
: Attempting to purchase alcohol using false identification can result in jail time and a minimum fine of $250 or community service hours (California Business and Professions Code section 25661).
Under 21 Purchase of Alcohol
: Any person under the age of 21 years who purchases any alcoholic beverage in any on-sale premises (e.g., bar or licensed club or restaurant) is guilty of a misdemeanor (California Business and Professions Code section 25658(b)).
Selling Alcohol without a License
: is a misdemeanor (California Business and Professions Code section 23301).
Drunk in Public (DIP)
: Public intoxication is considered disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor offense and can result in jail time and a fine (California Penal Code section 647(f)).
Furnishing Alcohol to a Person Under 21 or an Intoxicated Person
: Selling or furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 or to an obviously intoxicated person is a misdemeanor (California Business and Professions Code section 25658).
Drug Offenses and Penalties
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs is prohibited by Occidental.
The Federal Controlled Substances Act provides penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000 for unlawful distribution or possession with intent to distribute illegal drugs. For the unlawful possession of illegal drugs, a person is subject to up to one year of imprisonment and fines up to $5,000. Any person who unlawfully distributes an illegal drug to a person under twenty-one years of age may be punished by up to twice the term of imprisonment and fined otherwise authorized by law. Changes in state law regarding marijuana or other illegal drugs do not negate applicable federal statutes.
A chart summarizing the penalties under Federal law is included below:
Federal Trafficking Penalties for Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V (except Marijuana)
500-4,999 grams mixture
Not less than 5 yrs. and not more than 40 yrs. If death or
serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life. Fine of not more than $5 million if an individual,
$25 million if not an
Not less than 10 yrs. and not more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.
Fine of not more than
$8 million if an individual, $50 million if not an individual.
5 kilograms or more mixture
Not less than 10 yrs. and not more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life. Fine of not more than $10 million if an individual,
$50 million if not an individual.
Not less than 20 yrs, and not more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.
Fine of not more than $20 million if an individual, $75 million if not an individual.
2 or More Prior Offenses:
Life imprisonment. Fine of not more than $20 million if an individual, $75 million if not an individual.
28-279 grams mixture
280 grams or more mixture
40-399 grams mixture
400 grams or more mixture
Fentanyl Analogue 10-99 grams mixture
Fentanyl Analogue 100 grams or more mixture
100-999 grams mixture
1 kilogram or more mixture
1-9 grams mixture
10 grams or more mixture
Methamphetamine 5-49 grams pure or 50-499 grams mixture
Methamphetamine 50 grams or more pure or 500 grams or more mixture
10-99 grams pure
or 100-999 grams mixture
100 grams or more pure or 1 kilogram or more mixture
Federal Possession Penalties
Any Amount Of Other Schedule I & II Substances
Not more that 20 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than Life. Fine $1 million if an individual, $5 million if not an individual.
Not more than 30 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine $2 million if an individual, $10 million if not an individual.
Any Amount of Any Drug Product Containing Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid
Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV) 1 Gram
Any Amount Of Other Schedule III Drugs
Not more than 10 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, not more than 15 yrs. Fine not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2.5 million if not an individual.
Not more than 20 yrs. If death or serious injury, not more than 30 yrs. Fine not more than $1 million if an individual,
$5 million if not an individual.
Any Amount Of All Other Schedule IV Drugs (other than Flunitrazepam)
Not more than 5 yrs. Fine not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual.
: Not more than 10 yrs. Fine not more than
$500,000 if an individual, $2 million if other than an individual.
Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV) (Other than 1 gram or more)
Not more than 5 yrs. Fine not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual.
Not more than 10 yrs. Fine not more than
$500,000 if an individual, $2 million if other than an individual.
Any Amount Of All Schedule V Drugs
Not more than 1 yr. Fine not more than $100,000 if an individual, $250,000 if not an individual.
: Not more than 4 yrs. Fine not more than
$200,000 if an individual, $500,000 if not an individual.
Federal Marijuana Law Penalties
Substance / Schedule
Marijuana (Schedule I)
1,000 kg or more marijuana mixture; or 1,000 or more marijuana plants
Not less than 10 yrs. or more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs., or more than life.
Fine not more than $10 million if an individual, $50 million if other than an individual.
Not less than 20 yrs. or more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine not more than $20 million if an individual, $75 million if other than an individual.
Marijuana (Schedule I)
100 kg to 999 kg marijuana mixture; or 100 to 999 marijuana plants
Not less than 5 yrs. or more than 40 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life. Fine not more than $5 million if an individual, $25 million if other than an individual.
Not less than 10 yrs. or more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine not more than $20 million if an individual, $75million if other than an individual.
Marijuana (Schedule I)
More than 10 kgs hashish; 50 to 99 kg marijuana mixture More than 1 kg of hashish oil;
50 to 99 marijuana plants
Not more than 20 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than
20 yrs. or more than life. Fine $1 million if an individual, $5 million if other than an individual.
Not more than 30 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine $2 million if an individual, $10 million if other than an individual.
Marijuana (Schedule I)
Less than 50 kilograms marijuana (but does not include 50 or
more marijuana plants regardless of weight)
Not more than 5 yrs. Fine not more than $250,000,
$1 million if other than an individual.
Not more than 10 yrs. Fine
$500,000 if an individual,
$2 million if other than individual.
1 to 49 marijuana plants;
Hashish (Schedule I)
10 kg or less
Hashish Oil (Schedule I)
1 kg or less
Criminal Sanctions under California Law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illegal drugs include the following:
Possession of Controlled Substances
: Imprisonment in county jail for possession of specified controlled substances, including opium derivatives and cocaine (Health and Safety Code Section 11350).
Selling of Controlled Substances
: Imprisonment in State prison for two to four years for possession or sale of specified controlled substances including opium derivatives and cocaine (Health and Safety Code Section 11351).
Possession of Marijuana
: A person in possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is subject to an infraction and may be fined; Possession of more than 28.5 grams shall be punished by imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine (Health and Safety Code Section 11357).
Possession with Intent to Sell Marijuana
: shall be punished by imprisonment (Health and Safety Code Section 11359).
Distribution of Prescription Drugs
: it is unlawful for any person who is not a pharmacist to manufacture, compound, furnish, sell, or dispense any dangerous drug or dangerous device, or to dispense or compound any prescription (Business and Professions Code Section 4051 (a)).
Under the Influence of Controlled Substance
: No person shall use or be under the influence of any controlled substance. Any person convicted of violating this is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be sentenced to up to one year in a county jail, up to five years of informal probation, drug counseling and/or community service. (Health and Safety Code Section 11550 (a)).
Associated Health Risks of Drugs and Alcohol
The risks associated with alcohol and drugs are numerous and include short-term and long-term physical and mental impairment, emotional and psychological deterioration, and potentially devastating effects on family and friends. There are obvious risks, such as suffering a hangover, being charged with driving under the influence or while intoxicated, and sustaining or causing personal injury. There are a number of less obvious risks associated with alcohol and other drug abuse, including:
- Poor academic and/or job performance
- A heightened risk of initiating nonconsensual sexual activity, which could lead to expulsion and criminal liability
- A heightened risk of experiencing non-consensual sexual activity, which could lead to psychological and physical trauma including sexually transmitted infections
- Jeopardizing future career prospects (e.g., admission to law school or government employment)
In addition, alcohol and other drug abuse puts the user at considerable health risks, which can include, nausea, vomiting, cancer, liver damage, elevated blood pressure, psychotic episodes, hallucinations and, in some cases, death. Outside of the risks to self, a user of illicit drugs and alcohol also presents a risk to others: students, employees, and the entire Occidental community.
The following information on health risks is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2011 – 2015, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 29 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason.
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems; Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon; Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance; Mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety; Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment; Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism. By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.
Risks of Illegal Drugs
Summaries of the health risks for specific illegal drugs are included below:
The following information on health risks is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, and marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain.
About 1 in 10 marijuana users may experience some form of addiction. For people who begin using before the age of 18, that number rises to 1 in 6. People who are addicted to marijuana may also be at a higher risk of other negative consequences of using the drug, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning. Some people who are addicted may need to smoke more and more marijuana to get the same high. It is also important to be aware that the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana (i.e., marijuana potency or strength) has increased over the past few decades. The higher the THC content, the stronger the effects on the brain. In addition, some methods of using marijuana (e.g., dabbing, edibles) may deliver very high levels of THC to the user.
In many cases, marijuana is smoked in the form hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), in pipes or water pipes (bongs), in bowls, or in blunts—emptied cigars that have been partly or completely refilled with marijuana. Smoked marijuana, in any form, can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to small blood vessels. Smoke from marijuana contains many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana can also lead to a greater risk of bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production. These symptoms generally improve when marijuana smokers quit.
Marijuana use, especially frequent (daily or near daily) use and use in high doses, can cause disorientation, and sometimes cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia. Marijuana use is associated with temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia) and long-lasting mental health challenges, including schizophrenia (a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that aren’t really there).
Marijuana use has also been linked to depression and anxiety, and suicide among teens. However, it is not known whether this is a causal relationship or simply an association.
MDMA (a.k.a. “Molly” or “Ecstasy”)
The following information on health risks is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
People who use MDMA usually take it as a capsule or tablet, though some swallow it in liquid form or snort the powder. The popular nickname Molly (slang for “molecular”) often refers to the supposedly “pure” crystalline powder form of MDMA, usually sold in capsules. However, people who purchase powder or capsules sold as Molly often actually get other drugs such as synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) instead. Some people take MDMA in combination with other drugs such as alcohol or marijuana.
MDMA increases the activity of three brain chemicals:
- Dopamine—produces increased energy/activity and acts in the reward system to reinforce behaviors Norepinephrine—increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are particularly risky for people with heart and blood vessel problems
- Serotonin—affects mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. It also triggers hormones that affect sexual arousal and trust. The release of large amounts of serotonin likely causes the emotional closeness, elevated mood, and empathy felt by those who use MDMA.
Other health effects include:
- muscle cramping
- involuntary teeth clenching
- blurred vision
- chills, and
MDMA’s effects last about 3 to 6 hours, although many users take a second dose as the effects of the first dose begin to fade. Over the course of the week following moderate use of the drug, a person may experience irritability, impulsiveness and aggression, depression, sleep problems, anxiety, memory and attention problems, decreased appetite, and decreased interest in and pleasure from sex. It’s possible that some of these effects may be due to the combined use of MDMA with other drugs, especially marijuana.
High doses of MDMA can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. This can lead to a spike in body temperature that can occasionally result in liver, kidney, or heart failure or even death.
The following information on health risks is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Prescription opioids used for pain relief are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but they can be misused.
Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs in the body, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. This release can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience.
In the short term, opioids can relieve pain and make people feel relaxed and happy. However, opioids can also have harmful effects, including drowsiness, confusion, nausea, constipation, euphoria, and slowed breathing. Opioid misuse can cause slowed breathing, which can cause hypoxia, a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma, permanent brain damage, or death. Researchers are also investigating the long-term effects of opioid addiction on the brain, including whether damage can be reversed.
People addicted to an opioid medication who stop using the drug can have severe withdrawal symptoms that begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken. These symptoms include muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, uncontrollable leg movements, and severe cravings.
An opioid overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. When people overdose on an opioid medication, their breathing often slows or stops. This can decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, which can result in coma, permanent brain damage, or death.
If you suspect someone has overdosed, the most important step to take is to call 911 so he or she can receive immediate medical attention. Once medical personnel arrive, they will administer naloxone. Naloxone is a medicine that can treat an opioid overdose when given right away. It works by rapidly binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of opioid drugs. Naloxone is available as an injectable (needle) solution, a hand-held auto- injector (EVZIO®), and a nasal spray (NARCAN® Nasal Spray).
Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Drugs (a.k.a. “date-rape drugs”)
The following information on health risks is from the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
There are three specific drugs that are commonly utilized in drug facilitated sexual assault: Rohypnol®, Ketamine, or GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid).
Rohypnol®, also known as flunitrazepam, is not approved in the United States, although it is available for use as a prescription sleep aid in other countries. It is most commonly found as a tablet which is consumed by dissolving it in a drink or swallowing it. The possible short term health effects include drowsiness, sedation, sleep, amnesia, blackout; decreased anxiety; muscle relaxation, impaired reaction time and motor coordination; impaired mental functioning and judgement; confusion; aggression; excitability; slurred speech; headache; slowed breathing and heart rate. When combined with alcohol the possible health effects include severe sedation, unconsciousness, and slowed heartrate and breathing, which can lead to death. At this point the long-term health effects of Rohypnol® are still unknown. Rohypnol® can take between 36- 72 hours to leave the body.
GHB (Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid)
GHB is a depressant approved for use in treatment of narcolepsy, and commonly goes by the other names of Goop, liquid ecstasy, and liquid X. It is most commonly found as a colorless liquid or white powder which is consumed through swallowing, often in combination with alcohol. The possible short term health effects include euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, memory loss, unconsciousness, slowed heart rate and breath, lower body temperature, seizures, coma, and death. In combination with alcohol the possible health effects include nausea, problems with breathing, and greatly increased depressant effects. At this point in time the long-time effects of GHB are unknown. GHB, unlike Rohypnol, leaves the body between 10-12 hours after consumption.
Ketamine is a dissociative drug used as a surgical anesthetic, an anesthetic in veterinary practice, and as a prescription for treatment resistant depression under strict medical supervision. It is most commonly found in liquid or white powder and is consumed through swallowing, smoking, snorting, or injections. The possible short term health effects include problems with attention, learning, and memory; dreamlike states, hallucinations; sedation; confusion loss of memory; raised blood pressure, unconsciousness; and dangerously slowed breathing. If ketamine is consumed with alcohol there is a risk of adverse effects. The possible health effects associated with long term use include ulcers and pain in the bladder; kidney problems; stomach pain; depression; and poor memory.
If an individual believes they or a friend have consumed Rohypnol®, GHB, or Ketamine they should visit a local healthcare facility that can care for survivors of sexual assault and provide a forensic exam. While receiving care the individual who has ingested the drug can request the hospital to take a urine sample for drug toxicology testing, if the individual cannot immediately go to a hospital they should save their urine in a clean, sealable container as soon as possible, and place it in the refrigerator or freezer for future toxicology testing.
Resources and Referrals for Support and Treatment
General Support Resources
Local Support Resources
Pasadena Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
1245 E. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Al-Anon Family Groups of Greater Los Angeles
4936 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
San Gabriel Valley Narcotics Anonymous Help Line
For additional information on local resources, consult with the staff at Emmons Student Wellness Center or visit:
Emmons Wellness Center can work with students, faculty, and staff on a direct referral to drug and alcohol treatment programs in the area as well as independent providers and counselors. Employees may also contact the College’s EAP provider at 1-800-854-1446 (Multi-lingual) or www.unum.com/lifebalance for assistance.
Local Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Resources
Glendale Adventist Medical Center
1509 Wilson Terrace, Glendale, CA 91206
Las Encinas Hospital
2900 E. Del Mar Blvd. Pasadena, CA 911207
Della Martin Center for Behavioral Sciences at Huntington Hospital
100 W. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91109
The Haven at College
817 W. 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
The Haven at College has a treatment program specifically for college students that provides outpatient and residential treatment.
Drug Enforcement Agency Resource Guide
Drugs of Abuse
Drug Enforcement Agency Resource
Campus Drug Prevention website: https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov
Drug Enforcement Agency List of Controlled Substances
Drug Enforcement Agency Drug Facts and Scheduling
: VP of Student Affairs; AVP of Human Resources
: June 16, 2023
Last Revised Date
: June 15, 2023
Related Policies and Resources:
Emmons Wellness Center
Office for Religious & Spiritual Life
San Gabriel Valley
LA County/USC Medical Center
Alcohol at Events
Alcohol Service & Pricing
Alcohol Incidents (Campus Safety)
 The College’s Alcohol and Other Drug Committee reviews this policy every two years.