High Honors: University growing pot for class

College students learning how to cultivate marijuana

CREATED Jan. 24, 2014

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OAKLAND, Ca. -  If any students are Oaksterdam University are smoking pot, they wouldn't be the first college students to do so.

But students in one particular class may be among the first to do something once thought to be unheard of - learning how to culivate pot in class!

That's right. 

They're learning the art of "advanced marijuana cultivation." 

"A lot of people think ah, you're coming here learning how to grow a plant," says a student named Avery.

But he says there's a lot more to it. 

"There's a whole science behind it."

And there's growing demand for people who know that science, now that voters in 20 states have passed medical marijuana laws.

Colorado and Washington, have taken it a step further - allowing for legal recreational use of pot - with limitations.

Florida voters may decide whether to legalize medical marijuana this fall - if all the signatures collected for the ballot amendment get verified and the state Surpreme Court gives the OK.

"A lot of these states that are passing laws," says Aseem Sappal, Oaksterdam Dean of Faculty.

And that's filling seats in the Oaksterdam lecture hall with students you don't see at a typical university.

 "Well at 56 years old it's a little bit hard going back again!" says student Gloria Cutshall who's learning the fine art of growing pot.

"I''ve had students from Illinois, before they actually passed the law," says the Dean of Faculty.

"So the moment the law passed -  Boom!"

"They already knew what to do," adds the dean.

Half of the university's students come from out of state. 

20% of the student body is from overseas.

Avery, a New York native, is hoping his unconventional university choice will prepare him if, and when, the empire "goes green."

In the meantime, he says he and other students are getting through college just the way students at other universities do.

 "Just like any other school you go to, you have homework, you have final exams, you have readings, everything," he says.

"It's a lot of work!"