AG Rob Bonta: Oakland Would Not Be Oakland Without Oaksterdam

Oct 10, 2022 | Blog, News

California Attorney General Rob Bonta received Oaksterdam’s Skill in Combat Award in honor of the work he’s done to legalize cannabis, make it safe, and expunge records for people convicted of non-violent cannabis crimes.

Oaksterdam University Executive Chancellor Dale Sky Jones announced the award at OU’s 15th-Anniversary Event of the Decade celebration on Sept. 24, 2022 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif.

“Oaksterdam, what an honor it is to receive this skill and combat award. I’m so humbled.” Bonta said in his video acceptance speech. “Dale, thank you for your pioneering spirit and leadership over so many years. Oakland would not be Oakland without Oaksterdam. It’s just a fact.

“This organization is a source of knowledge, a place of learning. Thanks to your work, we’ve come a long way in the fight for sound cannabis policy. And we still have a long way to go. But as we recognize the battle isn’t over, today is about celebrating the victories we’ve made in ending the failed War on Drugs as we fight crime, not cannabis.”

Dale Sky Jones presents award to Attorney General Rob Bonta

Dale Sky and Jeff Jones honor AG Rob Bonta with the Skill in Combat Award at the Event of the Decade Sept. 24, 2022 on the Fox Theater Oakland stage.

Making History

Bonta went on to talk about California’s history as the first state in the nation to allow medical cannabis in 1996, an effort in which Oaksterdam played a huge role.

“We made history again in 2016 when we legalized adult adult use use, creating not just the largest legal cannabis market in the country, but the entire world,” Bonta said. “As California’s chief law enforcement officer, I think that’s a good thing because bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the legal and regulated light is good for the safety and well-being of our communities.”

War on Drugs Hits Home

Bonta, who formerly served as California Assembly Member representing Oakland, went on to talk about how the War on Drugs led to violent crackdowns in the city.

“People of color were left bruised and beaten, thrown behind bars and torn away from their families and support networks, all for cannabis,” he said. “This devastating history of aggressive enforcement in Oakland forced some tough conversations and policy changes, and the city slowly emerged as the heart and the headquarters for cannabis justice, equity, and entrepreneurship, thanks to the people in this room, thanks to Oaksterdam and your pioneering spirit.”

Into the Light

When Bonta was still in the Assembly in 2015, he led the charge toward fully legalizing adult use cannabis by establishing a coalition of criminal justice leaders, city and county officials, cultivators, manufacturers, law enforcement, organized labor, and  advocates. These collaborative conversations led to legislation that established the core tenants of the cannabis regulations that are in place today.

Dale Sky Jones and Attorney General Rob Bonta at the International Cannabis Business Conference.

“Today, we need collaboration like this more than ever. The illicit market remains a dark cloud hanging over this emerging industry. We need to do all we can to bring cannabis out of the shadows and into the legal and regulated light,” Bonta said.

Today there is simply no excuse for the environmental devastation, economic impact, and labor exploitation we continue to see in the illicit market, he said.

“That’s why our work for sound cannabis policy continues for public health so Californians can access safe cannabis for clean water and a healthy environment for entrepreneurs and workers. So small business owners can access banks pay taxes, provide for their families and compete on equal footing,” he said.

The Work Continues

“Our work continues, but tonight, we celebrate the progress we’ve made in ending the failed war on drugs, especially because of leaders like Dale and innovators like Oaksterdam,” Bonta said. “Thank you so much for this award. California has made history with Cannabis. And let’s keep making it.”

Read More Posts

How Do I Learn About Equity in the Cannabis Industry?

How Do I Learn About Equity in the Cannabis Industry?

Regulated cannabis is an exciting new industry, brimming with opportunity. However, because of the long, fraught legal history of cannabis in the United States, ensuring this promising field is available and accessible to all is of utmost importance.   As this...

Announcing: OU Budtender’s Guide

Announcing: OU Budtender’s Guide

Just in time for holiday shopping, Oaksterdam University has released The Budtender’s Guide: A Reference Manual for Cannabis Consumers and Dispensary Professionals for pre-sale on Amazon.com.

The book is designed to give both budtenders and consumers the knowledge they need to understand the landscape of cannabis products available in licit markets across the country, along with the history, laws and policies, science, and cultural nuances of the plant.

The book is available for pre-sale as a Kindle digital download on the Amazon store, priced at $9.99. It will be released on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2022.

Insights for Regulators from California Cannabis Control

Insights for Regulators from California Cannabis Control

Oaksterdam University Dale Sky Jones recently served as a keynote speaker and panel moderator at the California Cannabis Control Summit. The event brought together regulators from across the state and nation to share information and resources. Here, we talk to Event...

Oaksterdam Newsletter

Stay Connected. Join the Movement.
Sign up to receive email updates for more opportunities like this, cannabis job postings, events, and more.

Signing up indicates your consent to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x