One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Higher Learning: Marijuana Colleges

For much of the last two months, I've been in Louisiana, my home state, and Mississippi and Alabama covering the oil spill crisis. (Read about the mess here, here and here.) Anyway, in the new edition of TIME, I write about how the growth of marijuana colleges is taking shape in Southfield, Mich., a Detroit suburb. Here's an excerpt:

This is what a medical-marijuana class looks like. Twenty-five or so students — men, women, young, middle-aged — listen attentively as an instructor holds up a leafy green plant and runs down the list of nutrients it needs. Nitrogen: stimulates leaf and stem growth. Magnesium: helps leaf structure. Phosphorous: aids in the germination of seeds. Michigan's Med Grow Cannabis College is one of several unaccredited schools to have sprung up in the 14 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical use of marijuana. Many of its students suffer from chronic pain. Others are looking to supply those in need of relief.

The Med Grow campus sits across the street from a KFC in Southfield, a relatively prosperous suburb of Detroit. Nearly one-fifth of its 90 or so students are former auto-industry workers. These recent enrollees — and the more than 1,000 people who have completed courses at Med Grow since it opened in September — are betting that studying such topics as bloom cycles and advanced pruning techniques will help them succeed in what may be one of the few growth industries in Michigan, home of the nation's highest unemployment rate: 14%. With medical marijuana fetching as much as $500 for 1 oz. (28 g), providing it to a mere five patients could generate $10,000 a month in sales....

Read the full story here.

Oh, and one update: In May, Michigan's unemployment rate improved slightly, to 13.6%, the federal Department of Labor reported last week. Now, Nevada is saddled with the nation's highest unemployment rate, 14%.

  • Print
  • Comment
Comments (2)
Post a Comment »
  • 1

    Good report, Steven, though this portion of the full article is puzzling:

    "Fear of violent crime is one reason recreational use of marijuana is still illegal almost everywhere."

    Unsure if you mean fear of violence by users or against growers/users, as in the preceding sentence's description of a $20,000 loss sustained by a Med Grow staffer who was the victim of a nonviolent burglary.

    Either way, it could be argued plausibly that decriminalizing marijuana -- with enforced age restrictions, as with tobacco and alcohol -- would reduce fear of violent crime associated with illegal or quasi-legal pot.

    Indeed, as you report: "Ironically, the reason Detroit may follow Philadelphia's lead and liberalize restrictions on possession of small amounts of marijuana is to alleviate the strain on the local criminal-justice system."

    A final word-choice quibble: "Ironically," really?
    "Logically" seems more apt.

  • 2

    Have the Lions signed there players up for thos College yet? Just kidding. GO LIONS!

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.