Pot School Founder Calls It Quits After Feds Raid Joint

Heh… joint. Pot school founder Richard Lee said yesterday that he is relinquishing ownership of his business, Oaksterdam University, after years of marijuana legalization activism and a financially ruinous federal raid.

Although federal law prohibits the sale, cultivation and use of marijuana, California (where Oaksterdam University is located in Oakland) was the first to defy federal law and allow medical marijuana within the state. However, the conflict between state and federal legality of marijuana has led to the prosecution of numerous individuals using marijuana legally for medical purposes or pertaining to a legitimate business, and the pot school founder feels that after 20 years, it’s time to pass the dutchie.

In a phone interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lee discusses being a de facto leader in the marijuana legalization movement, and says:

“I believe that cannabis prohibition is unjust and counterproductive. What I’ve done is ethical, and I tried to use the resources that I had to do everything I could to change the laws… I never wanted to be the quote unquote leader of the legalization movement. I saw myself as just one small soldier in a big war. But I look at it as a battlefield promotion.”

While the legal issues surrounding Lee’s fate remain up in the air, the paraplegic pot school founder says he has plans to create more resources to raise awareness about marijuana legalization. And he says that after years of activism and running the pot school, he feels the tide is finally turning:

“I think the nationwide coverage of the raid shows that there is a story here that a lot of people would like to see and like to hear about… This may free me up to be able to go campaign… We are getting very close to a tipping point on this issue.”

The pot school founder says he could face up to 13 years in prison if prosecuted.

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