With the federal governments asset forfeiture spasm underway in California, let’s take a look at Oakland and its vibrant cannabis culture [with a tip of my hat to Mr. Marc Emery; be strong, brother]. For the school renowned as the Princeton of Pot and the Harvard of Hemp, Oaksterdam University, enrollment is way down. Since 2007 the Oakland college has attracted 15,000 students to study cannabis cultivation and related careers, while boosting commerce in one of America’s most pot-friendly cities. Despite the closing of hundreds of dispensaries elsewhere in California, Oakland is doubling down. It is seeking to license four new marijuana stores and attract new local pot tax revenue on top of the $1.7 million it gets from its four current dispensaries.
Oaksterdam’s enrollment dropped sharply last fall when U.S. attorneys began sending seizure notices to dispensary landlords and threatening cultivators. Asset forfeiture threats, again. It is effective.
“I think this thing is just going to be a blip in the overall drug war,” said Oksterdam’s founder, Richard Lee of the current battle. “The big thing now is legalization is almost here.” His attitude reflects a city where Mayor Jean Quan last week hailed Oakland for being in “the forefront of the compassionate-use movement” for seeking to license four new dispensaries, even after federal threats forced it to junk earlier plans for massive marijuana cultivation centers. Read more about a fascinating place here.
[image: google images oaksterdam]
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