JHU Alcohol and Drug Policies

| January 26, 2024

Note: This letter originally appeared as an e-mail sent to the Hopkins community on Friday January 25, 2024.

Dear Johns Hopkins Community:

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions of higher education to distribute their alcohol and drug policies in writing to student, faculty, and staff members. JHU policies prohibit the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs.

The Drug, Alcohol, and Firearms Policies for Students can be found online here.

The JHU Policy on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Drug Free-Environment for faculty and staff can be found online here.

Both policies are intended to support individuals in their goals for healthy behavior while cultivating an environment where JHU affiliates can thrive and succeed. They include relevant requirements to promote and create safe communities, as well as possible sanctions that the university may impose for violations of its standards of conduct with respect to alcohol and other drugs.

Members of the university community are responsible for knowing the risks associated with substance use and misuse. Offices of the university are here to support anyone who is struggling with alcohol and drug use, and resources can be found below.

Please note that while Maryland and the District of Columbia have permitted recreational adult use of marijuana, university policies remain unchanged and prohibit the use, sale, possession, or distribution of marijuana on university property or as a part of university activities.

Federal law generally prohibits the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance and, under certain circumstances, of a counterfeit substance. It is also a crime to possess a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense the substance. Conviction for one of these offenses is punishable by a prison sentence, the length of which depends on the type and amount of the drug involved.

Maryland and District of Columbia laws state that an individual convicted of the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or possession of certain controlled dangerous substance with an intent to do any of the foregoing is subject to imprisonment, a fine, or both. As with federal law, the penalty varies depending on the drug types and amount, and the Maryland and D.C. statutes provide for increasingly stiff penalties with each drug offense conviction.

Medical and public health experts advise that consequences from short-term use of marijuana or alcohol can include increased risk of worsening mental health, impaired memory, worsening sleep and immunity issues, and other direct and indirect consequences to academics, relationships, and overall quality of life. Chronic use can result in serious lifetime health issues such as heart disease, cancers, dependence, and addiction.


The university has a variety of resources for students related to education about the risk of substance abuse and support for those seeking individual health care services related to alcohol and drug use. A comprehensive list of resources can be found online here. To seek help for substance use or misuse, a comprehensive list of well-being resources, organized by school and student type, can be found on the Student Well-Being website.


Health care referrals and educational programs about substance abuse are available through the Johns Hopkins Employee Assistance Program.

We thank you for your cooperation in supporting the health and well-being of the university community.


Rachelle Hernandez
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Kevin Shollenberger
Vice Provost for Student Health and Well-Being

Meredith Stewart
Interim Vice President for Human Resources