In front of a packed house, the William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation kicked off its Fall semester workshop tour on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Presenters from the FBI, DEA, Arkansas State Pharmacy Board and the Arkansas Drug Director brought the message to students, faculty and counselors to Speak Up-Speak Out and help change the culture of accepting drugs as the norm, on campuses and in society.
The signature feature of the workshop is the presentation of film “Chasing the Dragon” which highlights the escalation of the use of prescription opiates to heroin which often leads to death. But this night, students from UALR were interested in the topic of so-called, “medical marijuana”.
UALR students wanted to know from the expert panel “ how do you feel about legalizing marijuana now that it is being used for medical purposes?” Arkansas Drug Director, Kirk Lane was unequivocal when he stated “ I am against it.” He made the case, “ on this film it is clear that most of all the individuals profiled as heroin users, started with marijuana.” DEA Special Agent, LeAnn Bakr spoke both personally and professionally of the ill effects of marijuana on families and society. “ Like many of us, this is something I have seen first-hand” said Bakr. She added that “while there are chemicals from the cannabinoids in marijuana that are intended to treat neurological disorders, these can be administered in a pill form. Make no mistake, when you’re smoking so-called “medical marijuana”, you're doing so to get high.”
The night closed with the question from the audience, “where can students get help or lean what to do if they are having issues or know of a friend that needs help?” Dr. Mike Kirk, PhD of the UALR Counseling Center told the students, “ please come see us and let’s talk. This is what we are here for.” He added “ you can also go to Willswork.org to see your campus resources or state resources if you are struggling or know someone in need.”