Oaksterdam University Raided for Distributing Knowlege?

Marijuana use is generally frowned upon in educational settings. Parents and teachers seem to think that if a student is high, they are not learning. There is one college however, that embraces all the wonderful things pot does for us.

Oaksterdam University, located in Oakland California is America’s first and only college designed to train future growers of the ins-and-outs of “the budding cannabis job fields.” Since opening their doors in 2007, the school has flourished being apart of California’s legalization movement and provides thousands of students with the highest quality information and tools to enter the budding medical marijuana job market.

On the morning of April 2, 2012, the school fell victim to a serious raid by the DEA. Armed with search warrants and trash bags, DEA agents blocked the doors of the school and carried away several trash bags filled with unknown substances. “Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman told reporters that agents were serving a federal search warrant but said she could not otherwise comment on the purpose of the raid.” As a result, hundreds of medical marijuana users and advocates of the university came together to protest the raid, chanting “Shame!” as well as “DEA, go away!” Some of the protest can be seen in the video below.

Richard Lee founded the college with a mission statement claiming to “legitimize the business and work to change the law to make cannabis legal.” He says that he is unable to offer much insight on why his organization is being targeted by the government, as he insists the university would operate legally. Lee’s reasons for opening the school are simple and seemingly harmless.

“I’ve seen in California that there are not enough good people who want to work in the cannabis industry in a professional way, who want to pay taxes and obey regulations and help improve their community.” – Richard Lee

Steve DeAngelo, founder of the Oakland Harborside Health Center which is credited to be the biggest dispensary in the world feels that Lee is being targeted unfairly. “We’re seeing American agents gong in and raiding a university,” says DeAngelo. “They didn’t distribute cannabis. They were distributing knowledge. It’s not a coincidence they went after Richard Lee. They are trying to silence him.”

It makes sense that the government would target Lee, as he is one of the biggest leaders in the fight for legalization. Though he was not arrested, agents did find it fitting to raid his home and keep him detained while the raid was happening.

I personally think the government’s got it all wrong these days. They continuously fail to realize that we as a smoking community would want nothing more than to use marijuana freely and safely. As long as they continue to bag these so called “criminals,” marijuana will remain an underground operation and thus, more dangerous than it has to be. The medical marijuana industry is going to thrive no matter how hard the government tries to stop it. In my opinion, they should be more welcoming to people like Lee and DeAngelo, who only have the best intentions when it comes to people smoking pot. They have nothing but good intentions as they will continue working toward keeping the industry controlled in a safe and lawful manner.

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Just Smoke the Real Stuff!

By Margaret St. Pierre

Is your dealer dry? Don’t have the funds for a 20 sac? Or worse, do you not know where to find everyone’s favorite herb? Luckily enough for you, a new substance is trending among people who have the same exact problems!

Don’t go jumping for joy just yet for as of late, synthetic pot, otherwise known as “K2” or “spice,” has caused some serious problems among it’s users. While it used to be available at gas stations and convenient stores all over the US, in February of this year K2 was removed from the shelves and labeled as controlled substance due to some scary side effects. DEA Agent Gary Boggs is quoted saying “legal doesn’t mean safe” in this CBS news story.

Synthetic pot is based around a blend of seemingly harmless floral ingredients. The recipe calls for “bay bean, blue lotus, lion’s tail, lousewort, Indian warrior, dwarf skullcap, maconhabrava, pink lotus, marshmallow, red clover, rose, Siberian Motherwort, vanilla, and honey.” Apparently the base is totally harmless until it is sprayed with a toxic chemical called JWH-018, a chemical invented by John W. Huffman, a former chemistry professor at Clemens University. Huffman is famous for testing the effects of various synthetic THC chemicals (Check out this interview with Huffman on synthetic marijuana here).

There have been a number of incidents resulting in a serious need for medical attention after smoking K2.

One girl, brought in for “altered mental status,” was catatonic: her eyes were open but she didn’t respond to the voices of those around her or to painful pinches. Her heart rate was fast, at 105 beats per minutes, but her breathing was slow, at 18 breaths per minute. Her legs were rigid. After she was treated with lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug, and diphenhydramine, to treat muscle movement problems, she started to come around, slowly. Her boyfriend said they’d smoked K2.

Another teenager, a boy, was brought to the ER from a party, because he was “agitated,” aggressive, restless, dizzy, and suffered a headache and profuse sweating. He also had a fast heart rate, but slow breathing. He had smoked Spice, but his urine tests came back negative. He was also given lorazepam and diphenhydramine, and later released.

A third teen was brought in to the ER because his face seemed “frozen,” his speech was slurred, and he was confused and hallucinating. He was given lorazepam and eventually returned to normal. He’d also smoked Spice, hours earlier.

Teens are getting more bang for their buck smoking this garbage because the chemicals in synthetic pot bond to the cannabis receptor in your brain 5x stronger than regular THC can. While it sounds like a dream come true for some, smoking spice is resulting in some dangerous long-term health issues.

I personally have had the displeasure of smoking K2 a few months ago when my money flow was limited and the warm weather was coming in full swing. Take it from me when I tell you it’s totally not worth it your money- I didn’t end up the emergency room or anything but I had a series of panic attacks that were pretty much impossible to explain to my mom. I was short of breath, terribly upset, paranoid and all around a huge mess.

Isn’t it funny that the only reason this stuff is available is because real marijuana is illegal? Having said that, the moral of the story is- if you see this junk around, save your money and buy the real stuff. No one is looking for a mental break down when they are trying to get high and that’s all that will come out of smoking K2.

“From First to Worst”

By Margaret St. Pierre

President Barack Obama has done a lot of great things since the beginning of his presidency in 2008. As if becoming the first black president wasn’t cool enough, he also caught Osama Bin Laden and increased the employment rate by 5.9%.

So why is it that Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project calling him “the worst?” The answer (obviously) lies within his policies on medical marijuana. At the beginning of his term, Obama was quoted saying that he is “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.” Promising to put an end to the Bush administrations numerous raids on the growing medical marijuana industry, everyone was optimistic and eager for the much awaited change.

You may be surprised to find out that despite the promise he made to pot smoker’s everywhere, Obama is actually about to exceed Bush’s count. Totaling up to 100 raids since he took office, the feds are busting dispensaries all over the country disregarding the fact that they are operating them in full compliance with the medical marijuana laws established in their respective states.

These raids will directly affect the 730,000 US citizens who are prescribed marijuana to treat their painful and often terminal diseases. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance makes an interesting point as he says “the administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again.” Can you imagine a 70 year old glaucoma patient having to go through the hassle of finding a good dealer, picking up and then dealing with the stress of possibly getting arrested just so she can feel normal for a while?

What bothers me the most about this issue is that 70% of the population approves of medical marijuana and it still seems to be a problem! Isn’t this supposed to be a democracy? Last I checked those 30% who are not in-favor LOST THE VOTE!

Rob Kampia said it best- “medical marijuana is twice as popular as Obama. It doesn’t make any political sense.” Ladies and gentlemen we are so close to a marijuana revolution I can smell it already! It is our responsibility to stay informed with the progress in legalizing medical marijuana and to choose wisely when casting your ballot in November.  This video is a good place to start: