OAKLAND, Calif. -- You know you're in a different kind of college when a teaching assistant sets five marijuana plants down in the middle of a lab and no one blinks a bloodshot eye.
Welcome to Oaksterdam University, a new trade school where "higher education" takes on a whole new meaning. The school prepares people for jobs in California's thriving medical marijuana industry.
For $200 and the cost of two required textbooks, students learn how to cultivate and cook with cannabis, study which strains of pot are best for certain ailments, and are instructed in the legalities of a business that is against the law in the eyes of the federal government. The only prerequisite for the course is a Politics/Legal Issues 101 class.
"My basic idea is to try to professionalize the industry and have it taken seriously as a real industry, just like beer and distilling hard alcohol," said Richard Lee, 45, an activist and pot-dispensary owner who founded the school in a downtown storefront last fall. - NBC 11