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13.8 Alcohol and Drug Policy


The Macalester College policy on alcohol, cannabis, and illicit drugs exists within the context of local, state, and federal laws. The policy is designed to comply with all applicable municipal, state, and federal laws, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (and related regulations), which prohibit the possession and/or use of cannabis and related products (e.g., THC, CBD), as well as the unlawful possession and/or use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Macalester College is committed to promoting responsible behavior regarding the lawful use of alcohol and cannabis. As an educational institution, the College provides resources for all members of the community (including faculty and staff) to inform themselves about the potentially harmful effects of alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs upon the individual and the community.

All members of the Macalester community will be held accountable for upholding the standards set forth in this policy. Macalester College expects all members of the community to demonstrate respect for one another, be accountable for their choices, and work to limit the negative effects of alcohol, cannabis, and illicit drugs.


Macalester College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, cannabis, illicit drugs, and drug paraphernalia on all College premises, in College-supplied vehicles, while using College equipment or machinery, and as part of College activities and business. The same behavioral standards apply to all individuals: faculty, staff and guests of the College community.  Macalester College respects the rights of employees to engage in lawful alcohol and cannabis use outside of Macalester.

Alcohol and Cannabis Use

Employees may not consume or be under the influence of alcohol performing work for Macalester, or operating Macalester equipment, machinery, or vehicles.

Alcoholic beverages may only be consumed on campus when the College has registered the event.

Employees may not possess, use, distribute, or be under the influence of cannabis or related substances or products while performing work for Macalester; operating Macalester equipment, machinery, or vehicles; or while engaged in other Macalester activities.

While Minnesota law allows the possession and use of cannabis in certain circumstances, the possession, use, or distribution of cannabis remains illegal under the federal laws to which the College is subject, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Therefore, the use, possession, production, manufacture, or distribution of cannabis for any purpose is prohibited on Macalester’s campus and in connection with College activities.

Illicit Drugs

Illicit drugs may not be possessed, used, or distributed on campus; while operating or occupying Macalester equipment, vehicles, or machinery; or in connection with Macalester activities, programs, or events. For the purpose of this policy, “illicit drugs” includes substances that are unlawful under federal, state or local law; lawful drugs that are unlawfully obtained; lawful drugs that are used for purposes or by individuals other than those for which they were prescribed; and lawful drugs, chemicals or other substances used in a manner or quantity other than as intended to be used.


Violation of College policies regarding the use, distribution, or possession of alcohol, cannabis, or other illicit drugs will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.  Violations may also result in referral to law enforcement. The College may require substance use assessments or treatment in addition to disciplinary actions that may be imposed.


All employees are eligible to participate in the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If warranted, Macalester may refer you to the EAP and/or an outside professional. Macalester’s EAP is available at no cost to you and your family and offers assistance with a wide variety of concerns.

The EAP is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Counselors will help clarify your concerns, assess your situation and identify options to help. Whether you need short-term counseling, a special evaluation, or on-going counseling or treatment, EAP counselors can refer you to resources in your community. On-going counseling or treatment referrals are based on your insurance and ability to pay. The costs of on-going care are your responsibility.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Other local sources available for assistance and counseling include:

National Hotlines providing service:

Macalester encourages any employee who may have a substance use concern to contact the EAP or seek other professional assistance. Macalester will provide appropriate support to any employee desiring assistance. Employees, however, should seek help before substance use issues affect their job performance. While alcohol, cannabis, or other illicit drug dependency itself is not grounds for disciplinary action, job performance issues relating to such use or dependency may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Macalester College’s Human Resources department is the most appropriate resource for staff and faculty to contact for assistance and questions.


Macalester College is committed to complying with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act. The requirements for compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (and its implementing regulations) are addressed here and in the Alcohol and Illegal Drugs Policy of the Student Handbook. The College regularly conducts reviews of its alcohol, cannabis, and illicit drug policies and programs to determine effectiveness and implement needed changes.

In accordance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, employees of the College are required, as a condition of employment, to abide by the College’s policies regarding controlled substances and must notify Macalester of any conviction for violating a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace within five days of the conviction. Within thirty days after receiving notification of such a conviction, Macalester will take appropriate personnel action which may include disciplinary action against the employee (up to and including termination) and/or participation in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation.