Oaksterdam University’s subversive start began in 2007, when it launched as the world’s first cannabis college. But the school’s foundation was laid by years of cannabis activism and rebellion – which came with considerable risk and a whole lot of civil resistance spanning decades.
Now, the public is getting a slice of that story. American Pot Story: Oaksterdam tells the tale of how the first-ever cannabis college changed Oakland and the world at large, all through footage captured over the course of a decade.
Filmmakers Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus of New Love Films followed Oaksterdam’s founder Richard Lee and Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones for years, capturing the origin story of the world’s first cannabis college. The film also features notable players in the cannabis conversation: Tommy Chong, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Governor Gavin Newsom, Oakland Mayor Libby Shaaf, Oakland City Councilmember-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan, Oaksterdam co-founder Jeff Jones, David Downs from Leafly, Kyle Kazan of LEAP, and several others.
American Pot Story captures it all: the influx of press the team had to keep up with, the federal raid that could have ended everything, and the defiant leaders that persevered through it all.
The change they’ve created is palpable, as the organization remains strong, successful, and committed to its mission of providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to lead and succeed in the industry. Today, the school is even supported by the local government. “It’s just a testament to how much Oaksterdam has contributed to this community and this industry as a whole,” Priscilla Agoncillo, Chairwoman, Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education told me.
To celebrate the school’s 15th anniversary, a special screening of American Pot Story: Oaksterdam will take place at Oakland’s historic Fox Theater. The documentary will close out the 20th Annual Oakland International Film Festival.
American Pot Story: Oaksterdam
Saturday, September 24, 2022
WHERE: Doors Open at 5 PM (Pacific), Screening Starts at 7 PM
WHEN: Fox Theater – 1807 Telegraph Ave.,
Oakland, CA 94612