Drug and Substance Abuse

The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of The Maranatha Baptist University community are incompatible with the goals of the institution. In order to fulfill its mission, its commitment to a healthy and productive educational environment, and in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, the University has established the following policy on alcohol and other drugs.

Standards of Conduct

In a good faith effort to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, Maranatha Baptist University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in Ch. 961, formerly Ch. 161, Wis. Stat.), in accordance with s. UWS 18.10, Wisconsin Administrative Code, by employees and students. The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited on university premises in accordance with s. UWS 18.06 (13) (b), Wis. Adm. Code. Without exception, alcohol consumption is governed by Wisconsin statutory age restrictions under s. UWS 18.06 (13) (b), Wis. Adm. Code. Furthermore, usage of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is contrary to Biblical expectation and damaging to the cause of Christ. Maranatha expects total abstinence from the use of alcohol (as a beverage), tobacco, and illicit drugs for all faculty, staff and students.

  • It is also Maranatha’s policy that students may not purchase or consume so-called non-alcoholic beverages in restaurants, may not have them in residence halls, and may not patronize non-alcoholic bars. Similarly, students may not have, purchase, or use fake chewing tobacco. Possessing empty tobacco tins or having beer bottle cap or similar collections is not permitted.

Legal Sanctions

The laws of Wisconsin prohibit drug possession and delivery through the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Wis. Stat. 961, and mandate stiff penalties that include up to 15 years of prison and fines up to $500,000. A person with a first-time conviction of possession of a controlled substance can be sentenced up to one year of prison and fined up to $5,000, Wis. Stat. 961.41 (3g) (a). The penalties vary according to the amount of drug confiscated, the type of drug found, the number of previous offenses by the individual and, whether the individual intended to manufacture the drug, sell the drug or use the drug (see Wis. Stat. 961.41). In addition to the stringent penalties for possession or delivery, the sentences can be doubled when exacerbating factors are present, such as when a person distributes a controlled substance to a minor, Wis. Stat. 961.46(1).

Substantial restrictions against alcohol abuse also exist in Wisconsin. It is against the law to sell alcohol to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21, and there is a concurrent duty on the part of an adult to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol on his/her premises, Wis. Stat.125.07(1)(a)(1). Violation of this statute can result in a $500 dollar fine. It is against the law for an underage person to attempt to buy an alcoholic beverage, falsely represent his/her age, or enter a licensed premise. Violators of this law can be fined $500, ordered to participate in a supervised work program, and have their driver’s license suspended, Wis. Stat. 125.07(4) (3). Harsher penalties exist for the retailers of alcoholic beverages who violate it, including up to 90 days in jail and revocation of their retail liquor permit.

The federal government has recently revised the penalties against drug possession and trafficking through its Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines reduce the discretion that federal judges may use in sentencing offenders of federal drug statutes. Under these guidelines, courts can sentence a person for up to six years for unlawful possession of a controlled substance, including the distribution of a small amount (less than 250 grams of marijuana). A sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction of possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury. Possession of more than 5 grams of cocaine can trigger an intent to distribute penalty of 10-16 years in prison, U.S.S.G, s. 2D2.1(b)(1).

As a condition of employment at Maranatha, personnel must agree to abide by a policy of total abstinence. Employees in violation of this policy may result in termination and/or referral for legal prosecution and/or Biblical counseling.

Health Risks

The following information on health risks is from What Works: Schools Without Drugs, U. S. Department of Education (1992):

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.

Drugs can have very serious, long-term physical and emotional health effects. And if drugs are mixed, the impact is even more detrimental. The following is a partial list of drugs often found in work places nationwide and some of the consequences of their use. Only some of the known health risks are covered, and not all legal or illegal drugs are included:

  • Marijuana is an addictive drug, although many still believe that it is harmless. It can cause short-term memory impairment, slowed reaction time, lung disease and infertility.
  • Cocaine and crack can speed up performance, their effect is short lived. More lasting risks are short attention span, irritability and depression, seizure and heart attack.
  • Prescription drugs are often used to reduce stress. However, they are not safe either, unless taken as directed. If abused, they can lead to sluggishness or hyperactivity, impaired reflexes, addiction and brain damage.
  • PCP, LSD, heroin, mescaline and morphine, have a variety of negative health effects, from hallucinations and mental confusion to convulsions and death.

Assistance:

Any person who has struggled with the issues of substance abuse knows the powerful grip and temptation that it can have on an individual. The college has designated individuals who can help with Biblical counsel for anyone who is struggling with these issues. A confidential appointment for such counsel can be arranged through the Student Life Office.

Discipline:

Faculty, staff and students will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including dismissal from the university. Disciplinary standards are set forth in the Faculty and Staff handbooks and the Student Life Handbook. In addition to discipline, violators may be referred to appropriate counseling and treatment centers. Referral for prosecution under criminal law is also possible.

Summary:

All faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to help make Maranatha Baptist University a drug-free work place. You can do this by learning about substance abuse (its dangers and warning signs), encouraging others to avoid substance abuse, and getting help if you need it – - – either for yourself or for someone you are concerned about. The use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is contrary to Biblical expectation and damaging to the cause of Christ. Maranatha expects total abstinence from the use of alcohol (as a beverage), tobacco, and illicit drugs for all faculty, staff and students.

Federal Trafficking Penalties

Controlled Substances – Uses and Effects

Also see Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco
Revised November 2006