At This School, It’s Marijuana in Every Class

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  At This School, It’s Marijuana in Every Class

Posted by CN Staff on November 28, 2009 at 10:50:41 PT
By Tamar Lewin 
Source: New York Times  

Southfield, Mich. -- At most colleges, marijuana is very much an extracurricular matter. But at Med Grow Cannabis College, marijuana is the curriculum: the history, the horticulture and the legal how-to’s of Michigan’s new medical marijuana program. “This state needs jobs, and we think medical marijuana can stimulate the state economy with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars,” said Nick Tennant, the 24-year-old founder of the college, which is actually a burgeoning business (no baccalaureates here) operating from a few bare-bones rooms in a Detroit suburb.
The six-week, $485 primer on medical marijuana is a cross between an agricultural extension class covering the growing cycle, nutrients and light requirements (“It’s harvest time when half the trichomes have turned amber and half are white”) and a gathering of serious potheads, sharing stories of their best highs (“Smoke that and you are ... medicated!”).The only required reading: “Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible” by Jorge Cervantes.Even though the business of growing medical marijuana is legal under Michigan’s new law, there is enough nervousness about the enterprise that most students at a recent class did not want their names or photographs used. An instructor also asked not to be identified. “My wife works for the government,” one student said, “and I told my mother-in-law I was going to a small-business class.” While California’s medical marijuana program, the country’s oldest, is now big business, with hundreds of dispensaries in Los Angeles alone, the Michigan program, which started in April, is more representative of what is happening in other states that have legalized medical marijuana. Under the Michigan law, patients whose doctors certify their medical need for marijuana can grow up to 12 cannabis plants themselves or name a “caregiver” who will grow the plants and sell the product. Anyone over 21 with no felony drug convictions can be a caregiver for up to five patients. So far, the Department of Community Health has registered about 5,800 patients and 2,400 caregivers. For Mr. Tennant, who is certified as both a caregiver and a patient — he said he has stomach problems and anxiety — Med Grow replaces the auto detailing business he started straight out of high school, only to see it founder when the economy contracted. Med Grow began offering its course in September, with new classes starting every month. On a recent Tuesday, two teachers led a four-hour class, starting with Todd Alton, a botanist who provided no tasting samples as he talked the students through a list of cannabis recipes, including crockpot cannabutter, chocolate canna-ganache and greenies (the cannabis alternative to brownies). The second instructor, who would not give his name, took the class through the growing cycle, the harvest and the curing techniques to increase marijuana’s potency.Mr. Tennant said he saw the school as the hub of a larger business that will sell supplies to its graduate medical marijuana growers, offer workshops and provide a network for both patient and caregiver referrals. Already, Med Grow is a gathering place for those interested in medical marijuana. The whiteboard in the reception room lists names and numbers of several patients looking for caregivers, and a caregiver looking for patients. The students are a diverse group: white and black, some in their 20s, some much older, some employed, some not. Some keep their class attendance, and their growing plans, close to the chest. “I’ve just told a couple of people I can trust,” said Jeffery Butler, 27. “It’s a business opportunity, but some people are still going to look at you funny. But I’m going to do it anyway.” Scott Austin, an unemployed 41-year-old student, said he and two partners were planning to go into medical marijuana together. “I never smoked marijuana in my life,” he said. “I heard about this at a business expo a couple of months ago.”Because the Michigan program is so new, gray areas in the law have not been tested, creating real concern for some students. For example, it is not legal to start growing marijuana before being officially named a caregiver to a certified patient, but patients who are sick, certified and ready to buy marijuana generally do not want to wait through the months of the growing cycle until a crop is ready. So for the time being, coordinating entry into the business feels to some like a kind of Catch-22. Students say they are getting all kinds of extra help and ideas from going to class. “I want to learn all the little tricks, everything I can,” said Sue Maxwell, a student who drives each week from her home four hours north of Detroit. “It’s a big investment, and I want to do it right.” Ms. Maxwell, who works at a bakery, is already a caregiver — in the old, nondrug sense of the word — to a few older people for whom she thinks medical marijuana might be a real boon. “I fix their meals, and I help with housekeeping,” Ms. Maxwell said. “I have an 85-year-old lady who has no appetite. I don’t know if she’d have any interest in medical marijuana, but I bet it would help her.” Ms. Maxwell said her plan to grow marijuana was slow in hatching. “We were talking at the bakery all summer,” she said. “Just joking around, I said: ‘I’m going to grow medical marijuana. I’m a gardener, I’ve always dreamed of having a greenhouse, I think it would be great.’ And then I suddenly thought, hey, I really am going to grow medical marijuana.” A version of this article appeared in print on November 29, 2009, on page A1 of the New York edition.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Tamar LewinPublished: November 29, 2009Copyright: 2009 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on December 01, 2009 at 09:41:03 PT

Related Article From The New York Daily News
As States Relax Medical Marijuana Laws, Pot Cultivation Colleges Take Seed***By Neil Nagraj, Daily News Staff WriterTuesday, December 1st 2009As more and more states relax medical marijuana laws, a budding industry is taking seed.Across the country, educational institutions dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of - legal - cannabis cultivation are taking root, reports.URL:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on November 30, 2009 at 11:05:01 PT

Related Article From
Cannabis Colleges Crop Up: New Institutions for 'Higher' LearningNovember 30, 2009URL:
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on November 29, 2009 at 08:53:53 PT

The carnage in war on drugs [people] is so awful
they will not show dead or dying trichomes on the MSM!
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Comment #6 posted by Zandor on November 29, 2009 at 08:38:24 PT

(“It’s harvest time when half the trichomes have turned amber and half are white”)By the time the trichomes are Amber they are degrading and loosing quality. A proper harvest time is when you have 10% to 20% at most amber within your field of view of your 30x pocket microscope in multiple locations throughout your buds.The rest of your trichomes will be cloudy and looking like a golf ball sitting on a "T"50/50 means that half of your trichomes are dead or dying off and half are good.Why would anybody want half of their trichomes dead?Somebody needs to go back to school or listen to a podcast!
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on November 28, 2009 at 17:15:44 PT

Dr Ganj
It's good to see you. I don't have an answer to your question though.
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Comment #4 posted by Dr Ganj on November 28, 2009 at 16:25:45 PT

"Cops Busted For Drinking Alcohol"
I wonder how many times that headline made the papers during the prohibition of alcohol? (1920-1933)
>>>2 TOLEDO OFFICERS FAIL RANDOM TEST FOR DRUGS, ARE RELIEVED OF DUTY Two Toledo Police officers are temporarily off duty without pay after the department's first random drug testing revealed that both had allegedly used marijuana. Police Chief Mike Navarre declined to identify the officers last night pending their administrative hearings. One of the officers allegedly admitted to a personnel captain Friday that he had used marijuana and was immediately taken off-duty. The other was forced off-duty Monday, the same day administrators received results of the drug tests, Chief Navarre said. The Toledo Police Department randomly screened 48 patrol officers for drugs with urine tests last Thursday. "The public expects and should demand that police officers that are given this authority - a badge, a gun, authority to make arrests - are of the highest caliber and should be the most physically and mentally fit," Chief Navarre said. "They are not individuals who use illegal drugs." The officers are not likely to face criminal charges because there is no evidence, the chief said, although they could lose their jobs. The testing marks the first time in the department's history that rank-and-file officers have been subjected to random drug screening. Before the practice was allowed in the latest union contract with the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association in July, patrol officers only could be tested when there was "reasonable suspicion," Chief Navarre said. Union President Dan Wagner said negotiators agreed to the drug test provision as leverage to gain other privileges in the contract. By agreeing to the drug tests, patrol officers gained the right to choose their assigned police station and narrowed their fluctuating start times from a four-hour window to two hours. Chief Navarre said police administrators have been seeking the right to randomly drug test for decades. Mr. Wagner said the union would have allowed the practice years ago, but administrators "didn't want to give anything in return for it." The chief declined to disclose how often the random drug tests would be conducted. The urine tests cost the department about $24 per officer. A union representative will attend administrative hearings with the accused officers. The drug suspensions follow on the heels of two Toledo officers being relieved of duty last month and criminally charged after reportedly being intoxicated while on duty. James W. Breier, 53, a 27-year veteran of the department, responded to an Oct. 23 traffic crash and appeared to be drunk, commanding officers said. Eight days later, Officer Donald Mitchell, a 12-year veteran, showed signs of drunkenness at the start of his shift, officers said. Both were taken to the Lucas County jail and refused to take Breathalyzer tests for a criminal investigation. They both were required to do so for administrative investigations. Both officers have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges and have pretrial hearings in Toledo Municipal Court on Dec. 10. They both are on the job, but are on restricted duty. Their administrative hearings have not been scheduled.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on November 28, 2009 at 15:38:07 PT

Medical marijuana is becoming mainstream. It's really interesting to watch MMJ come of age.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on November 28, 2009 at 15:20:38 PT

 page A1 
That's interesting.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 28, 2009 at 12:53:33 PT

Related Article From
How Much Weed Humor Can NYT Writers Roll Into a Cannibis College Profile?By Foster KamerNovember 28, 2009After getting into Tulane, NYU, USC, Michigan State, an Ivy, a safety school, and whatever liberal arts school you threatened your Republican parents with actually attending, there's only one you really need to worry about: Cannabis College. Bongs away.Yes, the real Hogwarts—of Weed, naturally—actually exists, and got a wonderful New York Times feature this week in which, like every other time the New York Times tries to talk about weed, we anxiously await whatever bush league-level snickering they can sneak into the copy. Since B-Real isn't an adjunct professor, this could prove difficult for them.URL:
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