The mural at Oaksterdam's former location at 1600 Broadway has since been painted over by the building's new owner. Photo by Anne-Sophie Braendlin

Following the federal raid on Oaksterdam University last April, Dale Sky Jones found herself with an incredible task: rebuilding the school from the ground up. Not only had Richard Lee, Oaksterdam’s founder and director, just stepped down—assigning Jones to take over his role—but during the raid, federal agents had gutted the university entirely. As Jones took on the responsibility of providing for the students, staff and volunteers who had already signed on for the spring semester, the rest of Oakland’s burgeoning pot industry was left wondering what lay ahead for their businesses and whether they, too, were vulnerable to raids or legal action from the federal government.

Read More
Federal agents surround Oaksterdam during the raid on April 2, 2012. Photo by Ryan Phillips.

One year ago, federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, a move that sent ripples throughout Oakland’s well-established cannabis industry and raised questions about the complex and often conflicting web of state and federal regulations surrounding medical marijuana use and patient rights. In this four-part series, Oakland North will examine what’s changed since last year’s raid, who was affected the most, and what may lie in store for medical marijuana use here in Oakland.

Read More

After a federal raid in early April on Oaksterdam University, an education center located in downtown Oakland that trains students to work in the marijuana industry, founder Richard Lee has decided to step down as head of the institution. His successor will be former executive chancellor Dale Sky Jones, which will officially be announced on Wednesday morning.

Read More

When Dale Sky Jones, the executive chancellor of Oaksterdam University, walked into the school’s building at 1600 Broadway on Monday afternoon shortly after a raid by federal agents, one of the first things she saw was an Oaksterdam University banner, she said, “torn down and crumpled on the floor.” “They tried to demoralize us,” Jones said, “but they didn’t.”

Read More

Oaksterdam University, a center that offers training for workers in the marijuana industry, and several of the organization’s related buildings were raided Monday morning by federal agents. According to Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University’s executive chancellor, federal agents raided five Oaksterdam-related locations around 8 am, including the home of founder Richard Lee and the organization’s…

Read More
From left: Founder of Oaksterdam University Richard Lee, Local 5 union representative Dan Rush, Yes on 19 spokesperson Dale Jones, Yes on 19's legal co-chair Hanna Liebman Dershowitz and California director of the Drug Policy Alliance Stephen Gutwillig, took questions at a press conference Wednesday morning at Yes on 19 campaign headquarters in Oakland.

“The move to end marijuana prohibition is far stronger this morning than it ever has been,” said Stephen Gutwillig, the California director of the Drug Policy Alliance, as members of the Yes on 19 campaign gathered at their headquarters in downtown Oakland early Wednesday following the initiative’s defeat, garnering only 46.1 percent of the vote.

Read More