TEXARKANA, Ar - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge made several stops in South Arkansas Wednesday, holding round table discussions with community leaders.
In Texarkana, medical marijuana and the opioid crisis were hot topics. Mayors and school superintendents from Texarkana and Fouke, along with Miller County faith leaders and District One Representative Carol Dalby, sat down with Rutledge.
As the state prepares to introduce medical marijuana, school officials are concerned about the possibility of its presence in a school zone. Rutledge said, "If it's a private business or a school district that has their own counsel, their own lawyer, they need to work with them, but, that we have to respect the rights, the HIPAA rights of those individuals, just as the same as if they were on any other medication."
Community leaders also discussed the opioid crisis. Rutledge said Arkansas ranks first in the nation for kids aged twelve to seventeen who have misused painkillers. As a result, her office is launching a program called "Prescription For Life." Rutledge said, "First in the nation, it's gonna be available to every ninth through twelfth grade student in the state at no cost to the schools. We're fronting the costs at the attorney general's office."
The digital course is designed to teach kids how to make healthy decisions when it comes to prescription drugs. The program is expected to be implemented within the next few weeks.
Rutledge also held round table discussions Wednesday in Ashdown and De Queen.