Drug Free Environment Policy and Procedures

La Sierra University is committed to providing a learning environment conducive to the fullest possible human development.  To achieve this goal, the University holds that a drug-alcohol-and tobacco-free lifestyle is essential and thus maintains policies that seek a campus environment that is free of these substances.

La Sierra University purposes to maintain a drug-free environment in harmony with the laws of the land, the unlawful use, possession, distribution, dispensing or manufacture of controlled substances by its employees, whether faculty, staff or students, is strictly prohibited.  Further, La Sierra University expects any person employed, admitted, living in University housing, or enrolled by the University and who receives federal or state funding, as identified by signing the FAFSA form, as an individual to certify that he or she will not engage in the unlawful use or manufacture of a controlled substance while associated with the University.

In addition to the requirements of the law, La Sierra University adopts the temperance practices and health principles espoused by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  This means that all faculty, employees and students are expected to refrain from the use of alcohol drugs or tobacco while enrolled or employed at the University. The University presents a preventive educational program to its faculty, students, and employees to develop an awareness of the risks involved in alcohol, tobacco and drug use and abuse and to promote the benefits of a lifestyle free of these substances.  The University may, in its discretion, provide/refer to therapeutic alternatives for anyone in the University involved in the use of alcohol, tobacco, prescription or nonprescription drugs or other mood altering substances, which impair the appropriate functioning of the involved individual within the University community.

As a condition of employment all LSU employees are required to follow this policy.  Failure to comply with this policy will result in discipline up to and including expulsion or termination and, if appropriate, a referral to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.

Components of a Drug-Free Environment


1. The policy of a drug-free environment for employees and students is included in the Faculty, Student, and Employee Handbooks.  Each faculty and employee is notified of the policy at the time of employment or appointment.  All faculty and other University employees are further notified of the policy on an annual basis.  Upon acceptance into educational programs of the various schools within the University all students are notified of the policy.  Each School will publish in its bulletin the manner in which it addresses drug and alcohol counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs and discipline, using the guidelines set forth in this document.

2. Faculty and employees working on projects, funded by federal agencies will be provided a copy of the policy for a drug-free environment and will be required to sign a statement saying s/he has read and understands the policy and agrees to abide by it as a condition of continued employment.  LSU must notify any federal contracting or granting agency of any employee's drug conviction resulting from a violation at LSU within ten days after receiving notice.

3.  Faculty and employees are provided training in drug awareness, observation, and impairment possibly due to drug involvement, the dangers of drug use and abuse, and early intervention and referral techniques.

4.  Campus-wide educational programs are conducted by school and worksite departments for students, faculty, and employees regarding substance abuse.  Such education shall include, but shall not be limited to, the dangers of substance abuse as outlined below under Education Concerning Health Risks of Alcohol and Drugs and Effects to Significant Others.

5.  All students, faculty, and employees will be notified through Student, Faculty, and Employee Handbooks of the local, state, and federal laws for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drug and alcohol as outlined below under Legal Sanctions Pertaining to the Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances.

6.  All students, faculty and employees will be notified through Student, Faculty, and Employee Handbooks of disciplinary sanction for the use of drugs and tobacco.


1.  The University reserves the right to investigate employees or students where reasonable suspicion exists of drug or alcohol involvement.  This includes the right to search an office, locker, any University or privately owned on-campus vehicle or residence hall room, briefcases, book bags and handbags, and the right to require an appropriate drug test and confirmation by a retest.  If a search is to be made, it must be authorized by the residence hall director, dean of a school, dean of students, vice-president, or president of the University.  The entire process of drug investigation will be treated with highest confidentiality.

2.  If unlawful possession of controlled substances or drug paraphernalia is discovered, the University will confiscate the item(s), investigate the circumstances, and institute disciplinary actions. All confiscated contraband will be given to the appropriate authority or destroyed.

3.  Initial identification of a problem may be made by a supervisor, faculty member, colleague, concerned other, or self-referral.


1.  All substance abuse investigation and drug testing information is confidential and should be treated as such by anyone authorized for access to such records.

2.  All records and information of personnel actions taken on employees under investigation or discipline with respect to drugs, shall be maintained by the Director of Human Resources in a secure locked file.  Only authorized individuals who have a "need-to-know" shall have access to them.  Any compilation of statistical reports will be handled in an anonymous manner.


1.  Any assessment of substance abuse, will be performed by a qualified professional and/or qualified assessment facility.

2.  If there is a reasonable suspicion of substance abuse a three to seven-day suspension may be mandated until assessment is completed.


1.  If substance abuse is determined to be experimental the individual may be disciplined or required to participate in an appropriate educational program specified by assessment personnel.

2.  The individual must present satisfactory evidence of compliance with the specified educational program.

3.  If an individual does not comply with a specified educational program, s/he may be subject to discipline.


1.  If an individual is assessed to have a chemical dependency, s/he may be required to enroll in either an outpatient or inpatient treatment program as a condition of further employment or enrollment.

2.  University employees may contact Human Resources for assistance regarding procedures to follow to utilize the University's group health insurance plan, and/or disability as well as a list of external agencies and individuals that offer counseling and referral services.

3.  The individual must furnish evidence of compliance with the formulated plan of treatment.

If there is noncompliance with the formulated plan of treatment, the individual may be subject to discipline.

Relapse Monitoring

1. Monitoring will be required for precaution against relapse for all students, faculty, or employees who have been found to have alcohol or chemical dependency.

2. A recovery contract will be formulated for each student in the Office of Student Life.

3.    A recovery contract will be formulated for university employees in the Human Resources Department or other appropriate University entity.


The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of alcohol, tobacco, or a controlled substance is grounds for a full range of disciplinary actions, up to and including dismissal from employment or school (as outlined under the policy of termination of a faculty member, the policy for termination for other employees, or student disciplinary policy.) Any educational treatment alternative to discipline shall be at the sole discretion of the University.

In cases where there is a reasonable belief that a violation of law has occurred, cases may be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation and prosecution.  Should any drug conviction result from a violation, employees will notify the University of any Criminal Drug Statute Conviction for a violation occurring in the environment no later than five days after such conviction.

Legal Sanctions Pertaining to the Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

A description of applicable legal sanctions under local state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol is on file at the office of the Director of Human Resources or the Dean of Students Office. An abridged list of legal sanctions follows.

Federal Laws Governing Controlled Substances

The unlawful possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of all scheduled (illicit) drugs constitutes a felony. Examples of these drugs include narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, and synthetic drugs; e.g., PCP. A first conviction for possession of a controlled substance can include up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000, or both (21 U.S.C. 844(a)). Second and subsequent convictions can include increased imprisonment and fines.

Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine include at least 5 years in prison, not to exceed 20 years and fines up to $250,000, or both.

Property, including vehicles, vessels, aircraft, money, securities, or other things of value which are used in, intended for use in, or traceable to transactions that involve controlled substances in violation of federal law are subject to forfeiture to the United States (21 U.S.C. 881 853 and 881).

Persons convicted of possession or distribution of controlled substances can be barred from receiving benefits from any and all federal programs including student grants and loans, except some long-term drug treatment programs.

California Laws Governing Controlled Substances

California law regarding controlled substances is in many respects similar to federal law with in that it is a felony that can result in imprisonment, fine, or both.

California Laws Governing Marijuana

The cultivation, the possession for sale, or the sale of marijuana constitutes a felony.  A felony conviction can involve serving time in a state prison.

Possession of not more than 28.5 (103.) grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of not more than $100.00. Possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail or by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

California Laws Governing Alcoholic Beverages

No person may sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21, and no person under the age of 21 may purchase alcoholic beverages. (California Business and Professions Code 256560).

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to possess alcoholic beverages on any street or highway or in any place open to public view. (California Business and Professions Code 25662).

It is a misdemeanor to sell, furnish, or give away an alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 (California Business and Professions Code 25658) or to any one obviously intoxicated (California Business Professions Code 25602).

It is unlawful for any person to drink while driving, or to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a moving vehicle. With a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, a driver is presumed under the influence of alcohol. Between .05% and .08% a person may be found guilty of driving under the influence (Vehicle Code 23153).

Every person who is found in any public place under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance or any combination of any of the above and is in such a condition that he/she is unable to exercise care for his/her own safety or the safety of others is guilty of a misdemeanor (Penal Code 647(f)).

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires that University employees directly engaged in the performance of work on a Federal contract or grant shall abide by this Policy as a condition of employment and shall notify the Principal Investigator and/or the Chair of the sponsoring department or unit within five days if they are convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace or while on University business. In turn, the Principal Investigator or Chair shall notify the appropriate Office of Research Contracts and Grants Officer. That Officer is then obligated to notify the Federal contracting or granting agency within ten days of receiving notice of such conviction, and to take appropriate corrective action or require the employee to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug abuse assistance rehabilitation program.

Education Concerning Health Risks of Alcohol and Drugs and Effects to Significant Others

The use of illegal drugs and tobacco, and abuse of alcohol may have serious health consequences, including damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs. Alcohol accidents are the number one cause of death for persons aged 15-24.

The most significant health risk, beside death, is addiction. Chemical dependency is, if not treated, fatal.


Even low doses of alcohol significantly impair the judgment and coordination needed to drive. Small amounts also lower inhibitions. Moderate to high doses cause marked impairment in higher mental functions, memory, and ability to learn and recall information. High doses cause respiratory depression and death. Long-term consumption, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can lead to dependence and permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. If combined with other depressants (that affect the central nervous system) low doses of alcohol will produce adverse effects. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome in their infants. These infants will suffer irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation.


Immediate effects include relaxation and increased confidence and metabolism. Smokers are more likely to develop heart disease. Thirty percent of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. Chronic obstructive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are 10 times more likely to occur among smokers than nonsmokers. Smoking during pregnancy also poses risks such as spontaneous abortion, premature birth, and low birth weight. Fetal and infant deaths are more likely to occur when the pregnant woman is a smoker. Tobacco/nicotine is both psychologically and physically addictive.

Cannabis-marijuana, THC, hashish, hashish oil:

Physical effects of cannabis include increased heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, and increased appetite. Use of cannabis may impair or reduce tasks requiring concentration and coordination. Motivation and cognition may be altered making the acquisition of new information difficult. Marijuana, hashish, THC, etc., also produce paranoia and psychosis. Long-term use may result in lung damage, reduced sperm count and mobility, and disruptive ovulation cycles. Cannabis may also be psychologically addictive.


Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. Immediate effects include dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, appetite loss, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures. The use of cocaine may cause cardiac arrest or respiratory failure and result in death.

Stimulants—amphetamines, crank, ice, methamphetamine:

Stimulants cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, and decreased appetite. Users may experience sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Extremely high doses may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, and physical collapse. An amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, high fever, or heart failure. Additionally, users may experience restlessness, anxiety, and moodiness. Large amounts over a long period may cause amphetamine psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and physical and psychological dependence.

Hallucinogens—PCP, LSD:

Phencyclidine (PCP interrupts the functions of the neocortex, which drives the individual to self-inflicted wounds. Users may experience a sense of distance and estrangement, loss of muscular coordination, and speech impairment. Large doses result in convulsions, heart and lung failure, and coma.

Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause hallucinations. Physical effects may include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, and psychological reactions. Users may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Flashbacks may occur even after use has ceased. Use of hallucinogens may cause psychological dependence.

Anabolic Steroids: Steroid users subject themselves to more than 70 side effects, ranging from acne to liver abnormalities to psychological reactions. The liver and cardiovascular and reproductive systems are most seriously affected. In males, use may cause withered testicles, sterility, and impotence. In females, masculine traits may develop along with breast reduction and sterility. Psychological effects in both sexes include aggressive behavior known as “roid rage” and depression. While some side effects appear quickly, others such as heart disease and strokes may not show up for years.

Notification of Alcohol/Drug Violations to Parents

Pursuant to recent changes in the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act, which allow for notification of alcohol/drug violations to parents/guardians of their son/daughters illegal usage, under the age of 21, La Sierra University reserves the right to notify parents beginning with the second offense. The University further reserves the right to notify parents on a first offense of a serious nature, which results in a medical emergency, legal action, or supplying alcohol to other individuals under the age of 21, or supplying any controlled substance to any individual.

Non-discrimination Policy

The University was established by the Seventh-day Adventist church as an integral part of its teaching ministry.

The University is committed to equal education and employment opportunities for men and women of all races and does not discriminate on the basis of handicap, sex, race, color, or national origin in its educational and admissions policies, financial affairs, employment programs, student life and services, or any University-administered program.

To this end, the University is in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, and substantial compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (45 CFR 86 et seq.) and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University also complies with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans Adjustment Act of 1974 and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of age or because they are disabled veterans or veterans of the Vietnam era. In addition, the University administers student programs without discrimination on the basis of age, except in those programs where age is a bona fide academic qualification for admission in accordance with the provisions of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.

The University reserves constitution and statutory rights as a religious institution and employer to give preference to Seventh-day Adventists in admissions and employment, including but not limited to 42 USC 2000e-1, 2000e-2, 6-15 of Federal Executive order 11246: 41 CFR 60-1.5(5); 34 CFR 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57 (b); California Government Code sections 12926(c); and Title 2, Section 7286.5(a) (5) and title 22 Section 98222 of the California Administrative Code. The University believes that Title IX regulations are subject to constitutional guarantees against unreasonable entanglement with or infringements on the religious teachings and expects students and employees to uphold biblical principles of morality and deportment as interpreted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The University claims exemptions from the provisions of the Title IX set forth in CFR Sections 86.21, 86.31, 86.40, and 86.57(b) insofar as they conflict with Church teachings and practices of morality, deportment and appearance.