Oaksterdam University's new campus is a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building where it can enroll up to 100 students in its three-month course. Credit: Dale Clare
It seemed like a typical grand opening. The president of Oaksterdam University and an Oakland City Council member helped cut a red ribbon strung across the doorway. A crowd of 100 people clapped and cheered.
The city council member, Rebecca Kaplan, praised the school for helping revive the neighborhood, stimulating the local economy and attracting people to downtown Oakland.
"This is a large, growing and thriving business," she told the crowd at the celebration Thursday evening. "It is bringing customers for all the other businesses. It is a key part of the growth and revitalization of the entire neighborhood."
But this is no ordinary university. It trains students to work in California's booming medical marijuana business. Its mission is to build support for the movement to legalize cannabis.
The college has expanded so quickly since it opened in 2007 that it outgrew its two previous spaces. Its new campus is a three-story, 30,000-square-foot building where it can enroll up to 100 students in its three-month course.
The damaging effects of this illicit drug on young brains are worse than originally thought, according to new research by Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatric researcher from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. The new study, published in Neurobiology of Disease, suggests that daily consumption of cannabis in teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have an irreversible long-term effect on the brain.
"We wanted to know what happens in the brains of teenagers when they use cannabis and whether they are more susceptible to its neurological effects than adults," explained Dr. Gobbi, who is also a professor at McGill University. Her study points to an apparent action of cannabis on two important compounds in the brain - serotonin and norepinephrine - which are involved in the regulation of neurological functions such as mood control and anxiety.
"Teenagers who are exposed to cannabis have decreased serotonin transmission, which leads to mood disorders, as well as increased norepinephrine transmission, which leads to greater long-term susceptibility to stress," Dr. Gobbi stated.
Previous epidemiological studies have shown how cannabis consumption can affect behaviour in some teenagers. "Our study is one of the first to focus on the neurobiological mechanisms at the root of this influence of cannabis on depression and anxiety in adolescents," confirmed Dr. Gobbi. It is also the first study to demonstrate that cannabis consumption causes more serious damage during adolescence than adulthood.
Dr. Gabriella Gobbi is a researcher at the neuroscience axis of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and also a psychiatrist and associate professor at the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University.
This study was funded by a grant from The Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation (CPRF)
This article was co-authored by Dr. Francis Rodriguez Bambico; Ms. Nhu-Tram Nguyen, and Mr. Noam Katz from from IR-MUHC and the Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University.
The newly opened Med Grow Cannabis College in Detroit is the first of its kind in Michigan following the state's legalisation of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The suburban college will offer courses in how to grow, use and profit from medical marijuana.
Med Grow's founder, 24-year-old Nick Tennant, said: "This state needs jobs, and we think medical marijuana can stimulate the state economy with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars."
At most colleges, marijuana is very much an extracurricular matter. But at Med Grow Cannabis College, marijuana is the curriculum: the history, the horticulture and the legal how-to’s of Michigan’s new medical marijuana program.
“This state needs jobs, and we think medical marijuana can stimulate the state economy with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars,” said Nick Tennant, the 24-year-old founder of the college, which is actually a burgeoning business (no baccalaureates here) operating from a few bare-bones rooms in a Detroit suburb.
The six-week, $485 primer on medical marijuana is a cross between an agricultural extension class covering the growing cycle, nutrients and light requirements (“It’s harvest time when half the trichomes have turned amber and half are white”) and a gathering of serious potheads, sharing stories of their best highs (“Smoke that and you are ... medicated!”).
The only required reading: “Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible” by Jorge Cervantes.
Cannabis Cup Winners 2009 - Rolledtootight reports
November 22-26, 2009
2009 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup Overall Champion and runner-ups
i - Green House - Entry: Super lemon haze --
ii - Barney's - Entry: Vanilla kush -- nice, very nice.
iii - Green Place - Entry: Head-band kush -- it was great.
2009 Cannabis Cup Indica Top Three
i - Hortilab - Entry: Starbud -
ii - Reserva Privada - Entry: OG 18 -- nice, nice.
iii - Allstar Genetics - Entry: Kush D -
Sativa Top 3
i - Harvestman Seed Company - Hilton -
ii - Green House Seed Company - Super Lemon Haze -
iii - BC Bud Depot - BC Bud -
Best Imported Hash Top Three 2009 Cannabis Cup
i - Green House - Entry: Rif Cream -
ii - Barney's - Entry: Triple Zero -
iii - Amnesia - Entry: Azilla -
Top-notch Dutch Hash Championship Winner and runner-ups
i - Barney's - Royal Jelly -
ii - Green House - Green House Ice -
iii - Grey Area - Grey Area Chrystal -- very nice.
It was a great time. Looking forward to 2010 and others around the world in the future to come. Cheers.
When the Obama administration loosened its medical marijuana laws last month it sure made Albert Santistevan's life a whole lot better.
The cancer patient and former jewelry store owner holds a medical marijuana card in his home state of Oregon, but found smoking at home an isolating experience. But that's all changed ever since the Cannabis Café recently opened in Portland. The establishment, which is operated by the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, does not sell marijuana, but gives legal smokers a comfortable place to gather and, well, smoke up.
"It's a very positive atmosphere. We could use more places like that," Santistevan told The Associated Press.
A new industry has taken root in Detroit with the opening of the city's new 'MedGrow Cannabis College'.
Here students learn how to grow marijuana professionally, debating the 'finer points of inhaling' and which plants 'give the biggest hit'.
And no this isn't some tiny research lab, it's clear what this is about -- making money and building an industry.