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.