Instructor: Politics and History
What do you teach at Oaksterdam University? How long have you been with OU?
I have been teaching Politics & History at Oaksterdam University since they opened their North Bay Campus in 2008. When the North Bay campus closed I started teaching classes at Oaksterdam Oakland, my first class was 122 Students. In the last year I have also started teaching the Activism class. When I audited the courses, Dennis Peron was the guest speaker for Activism class, he shared a lot of personal stories, and really left us feeling inspired, so I try to incorporate that into my classes.
How you got involved in the industry?
Three months after graduating with my associates degree at the age of 18, I was in an auto accident where I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. On my quest for healing, I have seen over 30 medical doctors & specialists, and tried over 34 prescription medications, all of which caused other side effects or symptoms for me. Cannabis worked best for me. I started volunteering at a dispensary providing a free hot meal once a week in December of 2001, in February of 2002, just a few weeks into my volunteer work, the location was raided. While I expected the medicine to be taken, I was disappointed to know that a services this dispensary provided were not going to be available to their members. The community response from this case was spearheaded by one of my mentors: Steph Sherer. She changed the way the nation viewed the Federal Governments prosecution of of Ed Rosenthal, and a few months later she founded American’s for Safe Access.
What is the name of your company or business and what services you provide?
I’ve worked in multiple aspects of this industry; as an in home care provider, managing a medical cannabis doctor’s office, working for a non profit, as well as a legal assistant for federal & state cases. I currently am working at one of San Francisco’s first dispensaries, Bay Area Safe Access established in 2003. They have held a San Francisco permit since 2008, and last year launched their delivery service. I’m proud to say I’m learning more than ever.
Expert tip for our readers?
Stay Informed as laws are changing quickly. Sign up with organizations like Americans for Safe Access to stay informed on local, state, and federal policies. Participate in lobby days, host debates, support local chapters, show up for court support, write letters to the editor, get your voice heard.
Favorite part about Oaksterdam?
My favorite part about teaching at Oaksterdam is the energy & Motivation of it’s students. Since 2002 I have been working and volunteering with American’s for Safe Access, and have watched a number of regulations, and bans implemented during this time. Working with volunteers who are patients themselves, the amount that is accomplished, is based on how well these volunteers are feeling this day. Working with Oaksterdam Students is the equivalent of Activist Boot Camp, the students are excited to attend events, hearings, court support, and events. I have developed many working relationships with a number of my students over time, and still keep in touch with a few of them to this day.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you are like me, the more you learn about this amazing plant, the more I want to know. There are so many subjects that we are still researching, terpenes, cannabinoids, what strains help which conditions, and how to tailor medical products to help mental & physical aliments. The best learning experiences I’ve have had include: ASA’s Annual Unity Conference & Lobby Day, and Patients Out of Time. I also highly recommend conferences hosted by: International Cannabinoid Research Society, & International Association for Cannabis as Medicine.