Thursday, March 29, 2012

CSU Full? UC, No Way? Oaksterdam Is Wide Open

By David Downs
Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

The Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht comes to town and catches up with Oaksterdam founder Rich Lee, painting a picture of growing pot that is less luminous than the one painted by the Los Angeles Times the day before.

"Oaksterdam once ran seven classes, each with 70 students paying $700 to $800 a semester. Now, it has one class of 50. Introductory two-day weekend programs and advanced seminars in how to run dispensaries draw about half the peak attendance of 120 students."

Part of it is the federal crackdown, which has touched Lee's businesses. There are also many, many more cannabis colleges today than when Lee began, he told us - a fact he said he was happy with.

Personally, we want to meet "Aats Otoina, 33, a rice and spinach farmer from Chiba, Japan. His country imposes strict penalties for pot possession. Yet Otoina wants to use his status as an Oaksterdam grad to lecture on Japan's cannabis traditions under the ancient Shinto religion. 'You can't talk about the Japanese spirit without talking about marijuana,' he said."



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