International Women’s Magazine Marie Claire has named Dale Sky Jones as one of the most influential women in the cannabis industry. She currently resides as the President and resident instructor at Oaksterdam University, however, she is an active member in other activist groups. Jones is committed to enhancing the debate for cannabis policy reform throughout the country.

Dale Sky Jones became a medical cannabis patient for cyclic vomiting syndrome. This involuntary syndrome caused her to be in the hospital about twice a year. Jones was referred to a cannabis physician, and there her symptoms were identified as similar to those of other patients’ who were using medicinal marijuana to bring relief. Since Jones started using medicinal cannabis to treat herself, she has saved thousands of dollars on hospital trips and has dropped the ineffective pills from her life.

Dale Sky Jones Oaksterdam University
Oakland, 24.09.2010: Dale Sky Jones, Chancellor of Oaksterdam University, handles a phone call while interviewing alumnus Sylvia Tadros for a teaching position.
View, print, or license this photo by Eric Wolfe.

Dale Sky Jones had experience in the cannabis industry for several years before joining Oaksterdam University. She was a spokesperson and legislative liaison for the Prop 19 Campaign in California. This led to her becoming Chairwoman of the Board for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR). CCPR is an organization committed to replacing damaging cannabis policies with reasonable regulation. Because of her position, she has been able to interview with famous news outlets such as BBC, CNN, Discovery Channel, FOX, LA Times, and so many others. 

“By looking at the current enforcement policy, I can tell that they are systematically going after people that are engaged in the cannabis legalization movement.”

– Dale Sky Jones

Jones’ presence and influence is crucial to the growth of Oaksterdam University because of her determination to reform laws that she feels pushes medical cannabis patients to buy off of the streets instead of a dispensary. Jones first came to the position to head Oaksterdam University when her partner, Richard Lee, stepped down after a federal raid because she felt like it was her “duty” and “moral obligation” to keep Oaksterdam University running. Jones responded to this massive raid that left 45 employees jobless and without health insurance and benefits by saying, “We took cannabis away from the streets and into a safe and responsible environment and that’s how the government and state authorities thank us-by increasing the unemployment rate in Oakland and making our lives more difficult.”

This raid also included the seizure of Oaksterdam University’s computers which was a huge financial setback. They had to start over from scratch. However, with the help of donations, volunteers, and other people who believe in the mission of Oaksterdam they are still open and have graduated thousands of students.

Lee and Jones started the university to create jobs in the cannabis industry and educate those that wanted to get involved, but did not know anything about it. “I am so disappointed that this is the way it has to be,” Jones said. “By looking at the current enforcement policy, I can tell that they are systematically going after people that are engaged in the cannabis legalization movement. They go after these people, such as Richard Lee, and shut them down. They go after the registered ones that do pay taxes, which is just absurd. Attacking a school just illustrates how flawed the current drug policy is.” Dale Sky Jones is dedicated to reforming these cannabis laws through education at Oaksterdam University. With her goal and a strong band of supporters behind her, Oaksterdam University remains a forerunner in training those interested in pursuing a career in the cannabis industry.

“We need to change these policies. They are flawed and old-fashioned,” Jones states, “but we are not dead yet—we are fighting and we won’t just disappear. I will keep teaching and talking about it and that is not illegal. While the sky is falling, you gotta keep your chin up.” 

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