A sign on the offices of Oaksterdam University, which teaches about marijuana, tells visitors that its headquarters have moved several blocks away in downtown Oakland.
The former home of a charter school at 1600 Broadway in Oakland is the new headquarters for Oaksterdam University, an Oakland-born trade school that teaches adults about the business of all things cannabis.
The curriculum features a course on politics, which is hardly surprising since its founders are leaders in the movement to legalize marijuana. And the celebration of the move is expected to have more than a whiff of politics about it.
It is a three-block move to a 30,000-square-foot facility, the second such move necessitated by growing popularity of the school, which has become a fixture in the neighborhood since it opened in 2007.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, there will be horticultural demonstrations, Chinese food and a jazz band. Local politicians, like Don Perata, a Democratic candidate for mayor, and City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan of Oakland, have been invited. “We all know we are in a struggling economy, so any time a business is expanding, it’s something to celebrate,” Ms. Kaplan said.
Tickets to the event are $150 to $300 for the general public. Proceeds will go toward the Tax and Regulate Cannabis 2010 initiative campaign, which aims to make it legal for adults in California to possess and cultivate small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption. It is a cause spearheaded by Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University and the nearby Blue Sky cafe/dispensary.
Credit: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t
Richard Lee rolls down the street in his wheelchair, popping in on any number of his businesses located in the "Oaksterdam district" of downtown Oakland, California. Once known for the wild finishes of its roughhouse Raiders, the city has quietly evolved into the Amsterdam of America. And Mr. Lee is spearheading the charge.
Lee is president of Oaksterdam University, the country's first "cannabis college," and a leading voice behind the statewide ballot measure The Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. If his hunch is correct (and polling data bears him out), California may become the first state to legalize marijuana.