Drugs: Possession or Use

Melville Johnson
April 9, 2020
Federal agencies are no different than other agencies when they prohibit federal employees from taking controlled substances, most whether on or off the clock. It has been proven time and time again that drug use negatively impacts work performance as well as morale. Therefore, it should be understandable why the MSPB has enforced such strict regulations.

To sustain this charge, the agency must prove with preponderant evidence that:

  1. The employee possessed (or used) a controlled substance
  2. The possession (or use) was wrongful (e.g., not a drug allowed by prescription)
  3. Any test or search used to detect drugs was valid and constitutional. [1]

This charge covers drug use or possession, whether occurring on or off-duty, as well as possession or other offenses arising from drug tests. The term controlled substance, includes amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, lysergic, acid diethylamide, marijuana, methamphetamine, opium, phencyclidine, and barbituric acid, including phenobarbital and secobarbital. Possession is customarily defined as an exercise of control over something. It may be actual (on the person), or constructive (extending to things under one’s power or dominion). There have been chain custody issues in regards to improper handling of the testing specimen.

The federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters. Call or message us today to discuss your claim and learn how we can assist you.

[1]Boykin v. USPS, 51 MSPR 56 (1991).

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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