Alcohol & Other Drug Policy

Wellesley College is committed to providing an environment of well-being, learning, and accountability for its members, and established its Alcohol & Other Drug Policy with the priorities embodied in the logo created by Ashley Longseth ‘13 for the College's alcohol and other drug education programs: Educate, Moderate, Communicate Concern.
The Alcohol & Other Drug Policy establishes the following Community Standard regarding alcohol:  Students are expected to comply with governing law and College policies; respect this community by minimizing the impact of drinking or drug use upon others; care for their own health and well-being; and seek assistance for themselves of someone else who needs support or medical attention.  Read the entire policy.  The College complies with federal law which prohibits marijuana use.  

Alcohol & Other Drug Education 

Students who wish to speak with someone confidentially about their concerns about their own or someone else's alcohol or other drug use, or who have been referred for an Alcohol or Other Drug Education session, may contact Assistant Director of Health Education Claudia Trevor-Wright to schedule an appointment.    Meetings typically take one hour, and take place at the Health Service.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana

Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana

(January 2017)

Is marijuana legal in Massachusetts?

Marijuana is still a prohibited substance under federal law (Controlled Substances Act, Drug-Free Workplace Act, Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act). Federal law applies throughout the United States, including Massachusetts, and supersedes state law.

Under state law, people age 21 and older can possess and consume recreational marijuana. For those younger than age 21, it remains illegal under state law. The sale of marijuana will not be legalized before 2018.

Can I have marijuana on campus? 

No.  You may not possess, use, or grow marijuana on campus.  This includes edible products, oils, topical products, and beverages containing marijuana.

Can I use marijuana off campus?

Community Standard 1 in the Wellesley College AOD Policy states that students are expected to follow the law wherever they are.  As stated above, marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, which applies throughout the United States.   

Can I drive while using marijuana?

No. High driving is impaired driving. It is treated in the same way as drunk driving.  Marijuana impairs your response time and many other cognitive abilities that are imperative for safe driving.  

What are the health consequences of using marijuana?


  • Impaired short-term memory, making learning and information retention difficult
  • Impaired motor coordination, including driving skills, increased risk of injury
  • Impaired judgment, increasing risk of high risk behaviors that facilitate STI transmission
  • In high doses, paranoia and psychosis (esp. with edibles, when dosing can be particularly challenging)

Long-term or Heavy Use:

  • Addiction (9% of users overall; up to 50% of daily users)
  • Altered brain development (esp. with use in adolescence)
  • Poor educational outcome, increased likelihood of dropping out
  • Cognitive impairment, with lower IQ in frequent users during adolescence
  • Diminished life satisfaction and achievement (by subjective report)
  • Symptoms of chronic bronchitis
  • Increased risk of chronic psychosis disorders in persons predisposed to such disorders.

Source: Volkow ND et al. N Engl J Med 2014;370:2219-2227.



Who can I talk to if I am concerned about my own or someone else’s marijuana use?

Students are encouraged to reach out to the Wellesley College Health Service, and Office of Health Education, the Stone Center Counseling Service, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life for support with concerns related to alcohol or other drug use.  

What if I am concerned about my own marijuana use but I am not sure if I need to talk to someone yet?

The Stone Center Counseling Service offers an anonymous screening tool that covers substance use.  You may choose to bring your screening results with you to speak with a counselor if you are concerned.

You may also wish to take the CUDIT-R, a very brief marijuana screening tool, and make an appointment to talk with the health educator about your results.

I am an athlete / international student/ off-campus employee - is there anything else I need to know?

If you’re an athlete, the NCAA has rules about marijuana that still apply.

If you have a job off campus, other restrictions may apply.  It is important to be thoughtful about all of your obligations, both on and off campus, to determine what is right for you.

If you’re an international student, there are additional potential legal ramifications for marijuana use.