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New 'University' Goes to Pot

Oaksterdam U. preps students for the medical marijuana industry
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2008 3:21 PM CDT
New 'University' Goes to Pot
Richard Lee, president of Oaksterdam University, sits in front of the school's gift shop across the street from the university building in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008. Lee, a veteran activist and pot-dispensary owner, founded the school in an Oakland storefront. The school prepares people...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – It's sort of a slacker's med school: An Oakland activist started Oaksterdam University to train students to work in the medical marijuana industry, reports NPR. Oaksterdam offers a single $75 course, which teaches students about pot's political and legal history as well as the botany of the much-loved herb. "You don't want seeds in your cannabis," says the founder. "It's like seedless grapes."

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Richard Lee's plan is for the school to revitalize downtown Oakland. "When I went to Amsterdam, one of the big things that struck me was how the cannabis industry there—all of the cannabis coffee shops are intertwined with the rest of downtown," he says. Buying and selling marijuana is still a federal crime, but Oakland officials seem uninterested in pursuing Oaksterdam U. (Read more California stories.)

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