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Drug Free College

Hennepin Technical College is a Drug Free College and Tobacco Free. Hennepin Tech strives to educate students and employees of health risks associated with drug and alcohol use. The use and abuse of alcohol and controlled substances can negatively impact the College community.

Hennepin Tech prohibits the use, manufacture, sale, distribution, exchange, or possession of alcohol or controlled substances by any student or employee while on campus or while involved in any college activity, service, and program or work situation.

The possession and use of marijuana/cannabis products 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/cannabis continues to be prohibited on college property, college-owned or any function authorized or controlled by the College. There are no exemptions to the prohibition of marijuana/cannabis at the College. Individuals who have approval from a healthcare professional to use marijuana/cannabis products for medicinal purposes are still prohibited from its use on college property or any function authorized or controlled by the College.


Students and employees found in violation of the Drug Free College are subject to both Hennepin Technical College sanctions and to federal, state or local sanctions.

Administrative and legal sanctions, up to and including, expulsion and referral for prosecution will be imposed on students who violate the preceding standards of Drug Free College and student code of conduct.

Administrative and legal sanctions, consistent with existing contracts, up to and including termination of employment and referral for prosecution will be imposed on employees who violate the standards of Drug Free College. A disciplinary sanction may include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program.

Legal Sanctions

Federal and state sanctions for illegal possession of controlled substances range from up to one year imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines for a first offense, to three years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines for repeat offenders. Additional penalties include forfeiture of personal property and the denial of federal student aid benefits. Under federal laws, trafficking in drugs such as heroin or cocaine may result in sanctions up to and including life imprisonment for a first offense involving 100 gm or more. A first offense for trafficking in marijuana may result in up to five years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 for an offense involving less than 50 kg, and up to life imprisonment and fines up to $10 million for an offense involving 1,000 kg or more.

The State of Minnesota may impose a wide range of sanctions for alcohol-related violations. For example, first-offense penalties for driving while intoxicated (blood alcohol content of .08 or more) may result in a $1,000 fine, 90 days in jail, and/or revocation of driver's license for 90 days.

Possession of alcohol under age 21 or use of false identification may result in fines. A Social Host Ordinance makes it unlawful for an individual regardless of age to provide an environment (place) where underage drinking takes place, regardless of who provided the alcohol and may result in up to 90 days in jail and $1,000 fine.

The college will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in the event of violations of local, state, or federal statutes.

Health Risks

In the United States, abuse and addition 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 alcohol and controlled substances contributes to the death of more than 100,000 people.

Alcohol: Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving. Continued abuse may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a healthy lifestyle.

Amphetamines: Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, depression, damage to the brain and lungs, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.

Cocaine/Crack: Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, paranoia and depression. Cocaine is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, psychosis, convulsions, stroke and even death.

Hallucinogens: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) causes illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Hallucinogens can cause liver damage, convulsion, coma and even death.

Marijuana: Marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. Users also experience interference with psychological maturation and temporary loss of fertility. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.

Methamphetamine: Methamphetamines, known as speed, meth, ice, glass, etc., have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Taking even small amounts may produce irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Over time, methamphetamine users may experience symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, a severe movement disorder.

Narcotics: Narcotics such as codeine, heroin or other opiate drugs cause the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

Steroids: Steroid users experience a sudden increase in muscle and weight and an increase in aggression and combativeness. Steroids can cause high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, sterility and prostate cancer. 

Additional information can be found on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website.

Prevention & Information

Primary prevention efforts will be to provide students and employees with appropriate information to make responsible decisions regarding alcohol and drug use. Contact a Hennepin Tech counselor or one of the resources below for advice and guidance.

  • United Way 2-1-1
    Phone: 211 or 651-291-0211
    Call 2-1-1. It’s free, confidential, and is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. United Way 2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for every day needs and in times of crisis. United Way 2-1-1 can connect you to resources dealing with family counseling, housing assistance, food, health services, legal help, transportation, child and senior services, volunteer and donation opportunities and many more!
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Phone: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Hennepin County Addiction and Recover Services
    Phone: 612-348-4111
    Addiction and recover services are available for Hennepin County residents who have or may have problems with drug or alcohol abuse, or who have been referred by the Court. Services are available directly from the County and from a variety of health care and social services providers located throughout the county. Programs are culturally diverse and different treatment models are available.
    Services include chemical dependency assessments, detoxification, referrals, and other support services. Referrals are available to inpatient and outpatient treatment; extended and transitional care; supportive housing; and case management. Assessments are available regardless of financial status. Private insurance may not cover some chemical health services. Services may be paid for with public funding if the recipient is financially eligible.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Greater Minneapolis Intergroup
    Phone: (952) 922-0880
    Greater Minneapolis Intergroup helps men and women who might have a drinking problem. Their purpose is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous and to be of service to the A.A. Groups in the Twin Cities area. Contact them to find local meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in your area.
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
    Phone: 1-877-767-7676
    A nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem.
  • Addiction Search
    Phone: 1-800-591-6474
  • Alcohol Addiction Center
    Quiz - Do I have an alcohol abuse problem?


  • Employee Assistance Program
    651-259-3840 or 1-800-657-3719