Oaksterdam University, often dubbed the world’s first cannabis college, has forged a partnership with the socially conscious cannabis brand, REEFORM. Their joint endeavor? Offering scholarships aimed at rehabilitating the lives of those beleaguered by the shadows of Cannabis Prohibition and the overarching War on Drugs.
REEFORM, an indoor flower brand, was brought to life by social justice crusader, Weldon Angelos, in collaboration with Glass House Brands GLASF. Angelos’ story serves as a poignant testament to the harsh realities of the cannabis industry’s past; he spent over a decade behind bars due to a non-violent cannabis offense.
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Released in 2016 after widespread bipartisan efforts, Angelos was granted a presidential pardon in 2020. But freedom didn’t mark the end of his journey. Instead, it fueled a relentless passion to champion the rights of those still ensnared in prison for cannabis-related transgressions. This culminated in various initiatives, including The Weldon Project, Mission Green, and now the REEFORM brand and its accompanying scholarships.
Highlighting the underlying systemic issues, Angelos stated, “Tens of thousands of people are still incarcerated across the country serving cannabis-related sentences, mostly people of color. I received a 55-year sentence for selling less than $1,000 worth of cannabis. Today, my objective in selling it legally is undeniably to aid those hurt by cannabis prohibition.” The mandate for REEFORM is crystal clear: advocate for the release of those unjustly imprisoned, assist them in piecing their lives back together post-incarceration, and continually push the boundaries of cannabis policy reform.
The crux of this scholarship initiative is empowerment. Mission Green’s data suggests that tens of thousands remain incarcerated for cannabis offenses, an incongruous reality as 38 states (and counting) have already embraced the legalization of medical and adult use cannabis.
The REEFORM Scholarships, set to be awarded quarterly, will pinpoint recipients in partnership with Mission Green and the Oaksterdam Nonprofit for Education. This fund will cover the tuition fees for courses at Oaksterdam University.
Oaksterdam University’s executive chancellor, Dale Sky Jones, voiced the institution’s commitment: “We firmly believe in the transformative power of education. It holds the promise to break chains of repeated incarceration, carve out pathways for individual development, and nurture new beginnings.” As a tangible commitment, Oaksterdam’s logo is set to grace the packaging of REEFORM flower products. These will initially be available in select Californian outlets, including Farmacy, The Pottery, and Natural Healing Center (NHC), with a broader release on the horizon.
Prospective candidates for the REEFORM Scholarship can find more details on Oaksterdam University’s website, with the upcoming live semester commencing on September 25, 2023.