Last week, in response to a successful SAFER referendum, University of Arkansas administrators adopted and released new guidelines that equalized school penalties for student alcohol and marijuana use. This week, Chancellor Dave Gearhart repealed them.
Last spring, the UA chapters of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) carried out the SAFER campaign, arguing that current penalties that are harsher for marijuana than for alcohol steer students toward drinking and away from using a less harmful substance. After 67 percent of student voters approved the referendum, a board of administrators (including the dean of students and assistant dean for student life) worked with the students to develop new guidelines reflecting the referendum. They then released them on-line and posted them in the residence halls. Yet, once stories about the new guide appeared in the media — such as this great piece in the campus newspaper — UA Chancellor Dave Gearhart put the kibosh on the change in guideliness because he and other university officials felt it sent the wrong message.
Please CLICK HERE or visit http://tinyurl.com/367bb97 and send Chancellor Gearhart a message urging him to reinstate the new guidelines or explain why he and the university would prefer to continue steering students away from using marijuana and toward using alcohol — a FAR more harmful substance.
The University of Arkansas has an amazing opportunity to set a positive example for other colleges across the nation, so it is imperative that we hold our ground and stand up to the administration in support of these new guidelines.
Click the image below to watch a news story about this effort that appeared last evening: