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Pima County Community College District Standard Practice Guide

SPG Title:  Drug-Free Environment
SPG Number:
Effective Date:  5/16/08
Approval Date:  5/16/08
Review Date(s):  11/23/11, 10/8/14
Revision Date(s):  11/23/11, 10/8/14
Schedule for Review & Update:  Every two years
Unit Responsible for Review & Update:  Chief Human Resources Officer
Sponsoring Unit/Department:  Chief Human Resources Officer
Regulation Title & No.:  
Policy Title(s) & No(s).:  Drug-Free Work Place, BP-4006
Legal Reference:   Omnibus Drug Initiative Act of 1988, Public Law No. 100-690 (“Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988”); Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, CFR Part 382; Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, A.R.S. § 36-2801, et seq.; A.R.S. § 23-493, et seq.
Cross Reference:  Drug-Free Workplace (BP-4006); Personnel Policy Statement for College Employees (BP-4201)


Pima Community College (“PCC” or the “College”) has a compelling interest in providing a safe learning and work environment for its students, employees and the public that is free from the hazards associated with drug and alcohol use in accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989. In addition, it is the purpose of this policy to ensure compliance with the Arizona Drug Testing of Employee’s Act, A.R.S. § 23-493 et seq.


Standards of Conduct

The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of illicit drugs and alcohol on College premises, while conducting College business or at any time which would interfere with the effective conduct of the employee’s work for the College.  Every PCC employee is subject to this Statement and to PCC drug and alcohol policies, including PCC Board Policy 4006 and PCC Personnel Policy Statement.  Violations will result in disciplinary sanctions up to and including discharge.

Conditions of Employment

As a condition of employment, employees must abide by the terms of College policies.

Further, as a condition of employment, all employees, including those on a contract or grant, must notify the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after that conviction.  Any employee convicted of a criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace is required to satisfactorily participate in a drug-abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Legal Sanctions

Local, state and federal laws prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of illicit drugs and unlawful possession, use or distribution of alcohol.  Conviction for violating these laws can lead to imprisonment, find, probation, and assigned community service.  Pima County Community College District will fully subscribe to and cooperate with the local, state and federal authorities in the enforcement of all applicable laws.

Health Risks

There are definite health risks associated with the use of alcohol and illegal substances.  Alcohol or any drug used in excess over time can produce illness, disability, and death.  The use of any substance taken as a medicine or for pleasure, legal or illegal, may cause medical, psychological, and social harm with the potential of intoxication, physical toxicity, and dependence.

Support Resources

Employees needing help in dealing with drug or alcohol problems are encouraged to seek it, either through their own resources or through the College Employee Assistance Program, which is a regular employee benefit.  Conscientious efforts to seek such help will not jeopardize any employee’s job, and will not be noted in any personnel file.


Although the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (A.R.S. § 36-2801 et seq.) authorizes possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes, the Act and A.R.S. § 15-108 does not authorize such possession or use in public places, including campuses or any public college and university.  Furthermore, distribution, use, and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act, Drug-Free Workplace Act, and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

Because of its obligations under federal law, Pima Community College will continue to prohibit marijuana possession and use on College property for any purpose.  Employees and students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary and possible criminal action.


“Employee” means any person employed (full-time or part-time, on a temporary or regular basis) by the College or directly engaged in the performance of work under the provision of a contract with the College.

“Drug” or “drugs” mean any substance considered unlawful (including marijuana) under Schedule I through V of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 812) “Drug” also includes prescription medication, over-the-counter medications, or other over-the-counter substances when the use of such prescription or over-the-counter medications or substance is not for the purpose for which the medication or substance was intended and results in the employee being impaired at work.

“Current use of any drug” means drug use that has occurred recently enough to justify the College’s reasonable belief that involvement with drugs is ongoing.  Current use of any drug is not limited to any specific time frame and depends on the facts of each individual case.

“Conviction” includes all criminal convictions, including those based on pleas of no-contest.

“Medical marijuana cardholder” means a person who possesses a valid registry identification card issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services pursuant to A.R.S. § 36-2801 et seq.

“Reasonable cause” means a ground for the supervisor’s belief that an employee is impaired by drugs or alcohol in violation of this document. The determination that reasonable cause exists shall be based on any one or more of the following:

  1. Direct observation by a supervisor of an employee using or possessing drugs and/or alcohol or of the physical symptoms of the employee’s being impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  2. Observations of a pattern of abnormal and/or erratic behavior by an employee that is indicative of probable alcohol and/or drug use.
  3. Specific physical, behavioral, speech and/or performance indicators of probable alcohol and/or drug use or possession by an employee.
  4. Information about an employee’s possession or use of alcohol and/or drugs when such information is obtained from a reliable and credible source and verified by the Chief Human Resources Officer. Employees who, in good faith, report what they believe to be a workplace violation of this document will have their reports treated as confidential to the extent reasonably possible.
  5. Information from a reliable and credible source and verified by the College that an employee has been arrested for and/or convicted of a drug offense.

“Safety sensitive position” means any job that includes tasks or duties that the College in good faith believes could affect the safety or health of the employee performing the task or others, including any of the following:

        (a)        Operating a motor vehicle, other vehicle, equipment, machinery or power tools.

        (b)       Repairing, maintaining or monitoring the performance or operation of any equipment, machinery or manufacturing process, the malfunction or disruption of which could result in injury or property damage.

        (c)        Performing duties in the residential or commercial premises of a customer, supplier or vendor.

        (d)       Preparing or handling food or medicine.

         (e)        Working in any occupation regulated pursuant to Title 32.

“Impairment” means symptoms that an employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that may decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks of the employee’s job position including:

  1. Changes to the employee’s speech, walking, standing, physical dexterity, agility, coordination, actions, movement, demeanor, appearance, clothing or odor.
  2. Irrational or unusual behavior.
  3. Negligence or carelessness in operating equipment, machinery or production or manufacturing processes.
  4. Disregard for the safety of the employee or others.
  5. Involvement in an accident that results in serious damage to equipment, machinery or property.
  6. Any other symptoms causing a reasonable suspicion of the use of drugs or alcohol.

Prohibited Conduct

Employees shall not:

1.  Violate any of the provisions of this document.

2.  Refuse to submit to a drug/alcohol test when directed to do so; fail to report immediately to the designated testing facility when directed to submit to a drug/alcohol test; or attempt to interfere, alter, substitute, or in any way affect the outcome of a drug/alcohol testing procedure.

3.  Report for duty or remain on duty when impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

4.  Use, distribute, manufacture, dispense, or possess alcohol or drugs on College premises or as part of any of its activities.

5.  Possession and use of marijuana while on duty or at any College site and/or being impaired by the use of medical marijuana while on duty or at any College site, is never permitted, even for authorized medical marijuana cardholders.

6.  Test positive for drugs at any time.  For the purpose of this document, a positive drug test result is one that indicates the use of a drug and such use cannot be explained by the appropriate use of prescription medications or other legitimate reason.

7. Requirements for some employees may be more restrictive than those stated  in this section.  Current College employees and prospective applicants should contact each department directly for testing requirements and procedures.

Special Provisions:

Employees in “safety sensitive” positions may not use any drug, whether legal, prescribed by a physician or otherwise, if the College possesses reliable information that such drug use could cause an impairment or otherwise decrease or lessen the employee’s job performance or ability to perform the employee’s job duties.  

Commissioned Law Enforcement personnel certified through AZPOST must comply with any rules and requirements promulgated by AZPOST with respect to the use or possession of marijuana or the association with a medical marijuana dispensary pursuant to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Notwithstanding the above, the appropriate possession of drugs when required to perform one’s job is not considered prohibited conduct. 


This document will be administered by the College’s Chief Human Resources Officer.

All drug and/or alcohol testing will be considered paid, work time.

All employees are subject to alcohol and drug testing pursuant to this document.

All employees shall receive a copy of this document at time of initial employment with the College and after any updates and changes to this document. As an alternative to providing a copy of the document to an employee, the College may give written notice of the URL address where this document can be reviewed.

Upon the approval of the Chief Human Resources Office, the Employee Relations Office shall schedule all drug testing, arrange transportation of employees when necessary and maintain all testing documentation.

A description of the testing methods and collection procedures to be used and a statement on confidentiality of the test results shall be made available to all employees on the College Intranet.

Duty to Disclose Use of Medication

An employee may inform the Chief Human Resources Officer of his or her prescription or regular non-prescription drug use if the employee believes that such use may impact his or her compliance with this document. 

An employee must inform the Chief Human Resources Officer of any prescription or regular non-prescription drug use if such use will or reasonably could impair the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job.  The information supplied will be kept confidential except, where appropriate, the Chief Human Resources Officer may share the information with the employee’s supervisor and other appropriate administrators, including the Chancellor. 

An employee may be required to provide information necessary to confirm that any use of prescription or non-prescription drug will not prevent the employee from performing the essential functions of his or her job, with reasonable accommodations.  None of the provisions of this section include medical marijuana.

Duty to Provide Notice of Criminal Drug and/or Alcohol Convictions

An employee must inform the Chief Human Resources Officer of any criminal drug and/or alcohol conviction related to the workplace within five (5) calendar days of the conviction.  If the employee occupies a position funded in whole or in part by a federal grant, the College will notify the granting agency of such convictions, regardless of how the College obtained information about the convictions, as required by law.

Disciplinary Action

An employee who engages in conduct in violation of this document may be disciplined in accordance with College policy up to and including termination of employment.  (See Personnel Policy Statement for College Employees, Section V.)

Reasonable Cause Testing

Drug and/or alcohol testing will be conducted when any employee’s supervisor has “reasonable cause” to believe that an employee is impaired to any degree while at work or any College site because of alcohol or drug use, including medical marijuana.

Rights of Employees

Any employee who is subject to drug or alcohol testing pursuant to this document has the right, upon request, to explain in a confidential setting the results of a positive test result.

Any employee who undergoes drug or alcohol testing pursuant to this document may, upon request, receive a copy of the written test results.


This document provides the College process by which it complies with the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act, Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Arizona Drug Testing of Employee’s Act and Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.