Harvard Business School's policy on drugs and alcohol—adapted from and in accordance with, other similar policies at Harvard University—reflects our concern for the health and well-being of our students,* faculty, and staff, and is designed to ensure that we comply with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, faculty, and staff or their guests on Harvard property or as a part of any Harvard activity are violations of HBS policy as well as the law. Possession, use, or distribution of certain non-prescription drugs, including marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and non-prescription synthetics; procurement or distribution of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age; and provision of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age are violations of the law and of HBS policy. Harvard Business School's policies and procedures also reflect additional expectations for student conduct based on concerns about high-risk drinking behaviors, such as binge drinking and the rapid or competitive consumption of alcohol, and their many adverse consequences for students' health and lives. For faculty and staff, all University employees are prohibited from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol during work hours or in the workplace (except that it will not be a violation of this policy to engage in the responsible consumption of alcohol at approved social functions held during work hours or in the workplace, provided that the use of alcohol has been permitted in these circumstances).
All members of the HBS community are expected to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and with all HBS rules governing possessing or serving alcohol.** HBS holds its students, faculty, and staff responsible for the consequences of their decisions to use or distribute illicit drugs or to serve or consume alcohol. Additionally, the misuse of prescription drugs (sharing, buying, or using in a manner different than prescribed) is a violation of HBS policy.
Although Massachusetts law now permits adults aged 21 or older to possess and consume marijuana under certain circumstances, federal law prohibits the possession, use, or distribution of marijuana on Harvard property or as part of a Harvard activity. Thus, even if possession or use of marijuana would be permitted under Massachusetts law, it remains prohibited on campus.
View the full Harvard Business School Drug and Alcohol Policy