Archive for November, 2009

Cannabis College in Michigan provides opportunity for new degree

Southfield, Mich.

For the students at Med Grow Cannabis College, marijuana is not just for recreational use.

Med Grow is a trade school in a Detroit suburb that caters to students interested in pursuing careers in the medical marijuana industry.

Students at the college are excited because the college provides a new opportunity to make money and earn a degree in something they are interested in. The course runs for six weeks and includes lessons in horticulture, baking, law and the history of marijuana. Students are taught to grow marijuana for medical use.

An article published yesterday in the NY Times details the goings-on at the college.

“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!”).

Not only does medical marijuana aid those that are ill, it has the potential to be a big economy booster. Michigan’s medical marijuana program is a patient-caregiver setup that allows a caregiver to grow 12 plants per patient. Each caregiver is allowed five patients. To become an approved caregiver you must register with the state’s Department of Community Health and prove you are not a convicted felon. Each patient may grow up to 12 plants herself if she does not have a caregiver.

Unfortunately, my home state of Florida still has its head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge the potential benefits of a medical marijuana program.

Watch the video the NY Times did about Med Grow Cannabis College:

and below is the list of courses that are taught during the six weeks at Med Grow (descriptions from their website).

Legal 1010
In legal 101 you will learn many the different areas of the law, taught to you by an attorney whose expertise is in medical marijuana. The curriculum for this class includes a legal history of cannabis, overviews of Michigan and federal law, dealing with the law, and many other aspects of how cannabis laws affect patients, caregivers, businesses, and society as a whole. Also offered, one on one consultations with our legal professor.

Cannabis as Medicine 1010
Learn what cannabis does to your body, how safe it really is, how it can be used as medicine properly, what conditions it can be benifical for, the effects and adverse effects, and much much more! Taught by our team of docotors and health care

Cannabis History 1010
Learn the history of this sacred plant. From 3000 B.C. until today, learn how it has developed and evolved into the exceptional plant it is today. This class covers the use of cannabis in colonial times, the importance of hemp to the early economy, the elections of 1912, the roaring 20’s, the Mexican drug war, and much more!

Horticulture Lec 1010
Our beginner level cultivation class. Covers seeds, clones, vegetative growth, flowering, harvesting, grow rooms, green houses, outdoor growing, cases studies, lights, equipment, electricity, soil, containers, hydroponics, water, temperatures, nutrients, air, pests, diseases, an intro to breeding and much, much more!

Horticulture Lab 1010
A hands on approach that runs parallel with our horticulture 1010 class. Designed to give students the upper hand and unique knowledge it takes to not only learn but succeed in cannabis horticulture.

Horticulture Lec 2010
Pre-requisite Horticulture and lab 1010
NOT A CLASS FOR BEGINNERS. This class covers advanced techniques on cannabis strains, breeding, pollination, seeds, mutations, hybrids, plant vigor, tissue culture, sex-inherited traits, chromosome modifications, evolution, morphology, breeding traits, floral traits, photosynthesis chemistry, scientific classification, calyxes, and much more!

Horticulture Lab 2010
Again, our hands on lab, designed to compliment our horticulture 2010 lecture class.

Cooking and Concentrates 1010
Learn how to cook with cannabis! This class covers methods of ingestion, dosages, making butter and oil, making tinctures, hash making, making drinks, cannabis infused alcohol, over 200 recipes for cooking meals treats and snacks, and a whole lot more!

Cooking and Concentrates Lab 1010
So it is one thing to learn how to make things, but how about you make them yourself! Learn how to get your dosages and recipes right with our hands on cooking class and EAT your WORK! (Coming spring 2010)

Care-giving as a Business 1010
Learn what it takes to get started in the care-giving business. Everything is covered from business formation to accounting and legal documents. Maybe you even want to quit your boring day job and start running your own care-giving business? Well, the law allows you to do just that! Learn just what it takes from our business experts and get on the road to success today.

What do you think, readers? Should other states follow suit? Is the caregiver-patient program better than the traditional dispensary program found in California?


Former NY Times journalist Jayson Blair gives speech on journalism ethics

Lexington, Va.

A couple of weeks ago Jayson Blair, former journalist for the NY Times who was caught fabricating and plagiarizing stories (the ol’ Stephen Glass type), was invited to give a speech on journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.
This is the clip of his speech:

I actually thought it was a pretty good speech. He shows remorse for what he did and had the courage to stand in front of all those people and give a speech about journalism ethics. He did not try and pin his failings on others.

In teaching journalism ethics we should always be aware of what NOT to do. This is imperative if we want to educate aspiring journalists (like myself) about crossing ethical lines. It is not always effective to teach people what they should do because, as Blair pointed out, “it is possible for good people to do bad things.”

What do you think, was this a quality speech? What do you think is an important aspect in teaching journalism ethics?

Gainesville man arrested at Toys R Us midnight opening

Here’s just another example of gross consumerism gone awry:

Gainesville police arrested a man at Toys R Us before its midnight opening on the famous day for gluttonous shopping, Black Friday. Police say the man threatened to “bum rush” the door if the toy store employee didn’t open it exactly at midnight. A woman was also arrested for interfering with the man’s arrest.

This is exactly why I avoid Black Friday like the Black Plague, instead choosing to participate in “Buy Nothing Day.”

Florida lawmakers propose 25 percent bong tax

Florida lawmakers Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St.Petersburg, have proposed a 25 percent tax on bongs.

Looks like there might be a tax for tokers, folks, even though law enforcement cannot prove that someone who walks into a head shop to buy a bong is necessarily going to use it to smoke illegal substances.

Rouson says that “what we hope to do is get rid of the charade, the hyposcrisy.”

It’s something of a personal crusade for Rouson, who can still recite from memory the date he finally broke his own substance-abuse problems. The lawmaker said he’s been clean for more than 11 years after struggling with crack, alcohol and marijuana.

…And while Rouson suggested the revenue could be used to fund drug-treatment programs threatened by the budget crises, those ills are not the main cause for the legislation.

Instead, Wise said, the aim is to increase the cost of peddling the pipes.

“We’re trying to get to the wholesalers and jack up the price big-time,” Wise said.

Bruce Grant, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, said law enforcement officers often have an almost impossible task in trying arrest those selling or purchasing the pipes or shutting down head shops because anyone involved can simply say the devices will be used to smoke tobacco.

“You can’t prove that someone has broken a law just because they buy a pipe or a bong or something like that,” Grant said.

What do you think, will this piece of legislation gain any momentum?

College for all?

picture from

Being that I am a frequent reader of Bill Maxwell’s column in the St. Petersburg Times, I have stumbled upon this recent column that debates the worth of a college education..

Maxwell brings up some important questions in this column.

Do we have a moral obligation as a society to send as many young adults to college as possible?

The column states that many educators and parents feel differently about the issue.

Hard-line conservatives, such as Charles Murray, political scientist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, do not believe everyone should go to college who wants to go. Best known for his positions on race and intelligence, Murray argues that we should listen to the research.

“It has been empirically demonstrated,” he writes, “that doing well (B average or better) in a traditional college major in the arts and sciences requires levels of linguistic and logical/mathematical ability that only 10 to 15 percent of the nation’s youth possess. That doesn’t mean that only 10 to 15 percent should get more than a high school education. It does mean that the four-year residential program leading to a B.A. is the wrong model for a large majority of young people.”

Though this opinion, like any thoughtful opinion should, is based upon fact, I’m not sure that students should give up a college opportunity because their linguistic and mathematical skills aren’t up to par. I think that students, no matter their intelligence or skill level, should strive to learn as much about the world as they can. College isn’t solely about academic learning, it is also about social growth. It is often the coupling of a new social experience and academic rigor that can incite new potential for learning.

The two camps sharply disagree on whether we have a moral obligation as a society to send as many students as we can to college.

Murray is unequivocal: “We have a moral obligation to destroy the current role of the B.A. in American life. It has become an emblem of first-class citizenship for no good reason.”

Like Murray, Bryan Caplan, associate professor of economics at George Mason University, is blunt, if not cynical: “From a moral point of view, far too many students are going to college — just as far too many people stand up at concerts.”

W. Norton Grubb, professor of policy, organization, measurement and evaluation at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, argues the opposite of Murray and Caplan.

“We do have a moral obligation, emerging from several centuries of concern with equity in a highly inequitable country, to make access to and completion of college more equitable,” he writes. “But rather than proclaiming College for All, we should be stressing High School Graduation for All, emphasizing that such completion requires either college readiness or readiness for sustained employment — or for the combination of the two that has become so common.”

As a society we have a moral obligation to encourage the pursuit of a college education. We should never undervalue the importance of higher knowledge and new experiences. The human mind is a vast landscape left mostly untapped. If we encourage all students to pursue a higher level of education, we are encouraging them to expand their minds, which will ultimately alter the way they view the world. College is a great vehicle for the expansion of consciousness, as I said before, because it is a social experience as well as an academic one. It should not be looked at solely as a degree-providing institution that will land you a job that pays well. Money, though important, is not essential in the construction of character.

What do you think readers, do we have a moral obligation to send as many students to college as possible? What is a college education worth?

Inaugural Women’s Running Magazine 5k and Half Marathon benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

St. Petersburg, Fl

The sun opened its eyes over the bay today to 3,859 women (and 182 men) lined up to race for the inaugural Women’s Running Magazine 5k and Half Marathon. Over $1 million was raised in entry fees. A portion of the proceeds of this race went to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, an organization that raises awareness as well as money to fund the research that fights blood cancers.

Lining up at the starting line with all of those women was powerful to me. There is something to be said for physical effort; it is a display of character like no other, completely immune to the falsities and facades of everyday interaction. Running with all of these women and being among those that were sweating and pushing hard at 7:30 a.m. reminded me of the power of mental strength coupled with physical strength.

Congratulations to everyone that ran in the race and those that supported the runners. It was amazing to see so many people pushing the limits of physical boundaries this morning under the Florida sunrise.