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Venice Beach, California

Opinion By Cheri Sicard

Special to Toke of the Town
Like many pro-cannabis activists, I found myself shocked, outraged, and saddened by the recent federal attack on Oaksterdam University and other Richard Lee-owned businesses. Oaksterdam is, after all, my alma mater. The school put me on the path to becoming the activist I am today and changed my life for the better in a profound way.
I have been pondering why, if the feds are going to target anyone, it would be Richard Lee. After all, Richard has built a successful business teaching others how to be as compliant as possible with California’s murky medical marijuana laws. His efforts also resulted in the transformation of a formerly derelict section of downtown Oakland into a safe, thriving community.

Photo: Las Vegas Sun
Matt Shaw’s college basketball career is ending because of one positive test for marijuana. If he had gotten drunk instead, he wouldn’t have been punished.

‚ÄčNevadans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (NSML) has decried the NCAA suspension of University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) basketball player Matt Shaw for one year — ending his career with the team — because of one positive test for marijuana.

Shaw, a 6’8″ junior who was fourth on the team in scoring last year, tested positive during a “random drug test” administered during the recent NCAA tournament.
“At the age of 22, Matt is an adult,” said Dave Schwartz, NSML campaign manager. “As an adult, he made a rational decision to use a substance less harmful than alcohol. Now, for this simple act, his career with the Runnin’ Rebels is over.”
“We hope all Nevadans will stop to think about this for just one moment — and think specifically about the fact that players who drink alcohol to excess face no punishment, at least until they assault someone,” Schwartz said. “It simply makes no sense.”
“And for those who say, ‘He should have just followed the rules,’ we say, ‘Why do we have rules and laws that horribly punish people who choose to use marijuana instead of the more harmful substance, alcohol?'”, Schwartz said.