Pin It
Favorite

Q&A with Darren McCrea 

The pot activist explains his new University of Spokamsterdam.

click to enlarge Darren McCrea - CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
  • Darren McCrea

For the past 10 years, Darren McCrea’s life has been medical marijuana. He launched Spocannabis, a patient support group and proto-dispensary before dispensaries existed. He manned a cannabis booth at Pig Out in the Park before most people had heard the word “cannabis.” Four years ago, he was arrested for growing pot in his basement to combat his rheumatoid arthritis. And now he’s back with the University of Spokamsterdam, a small business on Spokane’s near north side that provides classes where medical marijuana patients can learn about law, science, health, cooking and horticulture — all of it devoted to marijuana.

INLANDER: Tell me about the university.

McCREA: I met Mike [Levers, co-founder of the university] when he joined Spocannabis in 2003. We started talking about this idea. We’re good friends. It was a natural fit. First, you have to have a medical authorization to be able to take part in our classes. We have a class about federal, state and municipal law taught by an attorney. We have a “Health and Science” class taught by an R.N. named Kathy. We have a “History and Advocacy” class by Carol Taylor, who has a Ph.D. We have “Cooking with Cannabis.”

Can I graduate from the university?

Yes. You get a diploma at the end. We started at the beginning of the year and we should have our first graduation next week. I think we’ll have about 16 graduates.

What are your thoughts on last year’s dispensary raids?

I sat down when the dispensary folks were putting signs with big pot leafs on Main Street. They were advertising in newspapers and just being too forward with it. I sat down when they were all standing up. I don’t think it needs to be right on Main Street so kids are asking their parents what it’s about. Get a block or two off Main Street. Have some respect for the city and your surroundings and your neighbors.

Are you voting in favor of I-502, which would completely legalize pot?

I was against it because of the DUI test [for marijuana]. That kind of hung me up a little bit. But for the greater good, I’ll probably vote for it. We can address those things afterwards.

Will you shut the college down if I-502 passes?

Cannabis will still be medicine. There will still be patients who will want to be able to grow.

For more information, go to universityofspokamsterdam.com.

  • Pin It

Speaking of...

Latest in News

  • Game Changer
  • Game Changer

    Since David Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • In Contempt
  • In Contempt

    A Spokane judge rules that the mental health system has willfully failed to follow evaluation deadlines
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Never Again
  • Never Again

    Washington state lawmakers push reforms after last July's murder-suicide; plus, Spokane's police ombudsman is leaving
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Nicholas Deshais

  • Rehab Reality
  • Rehab Reality

    Toys are stacked on the front porch of the Isabella House, but the kids are nowhere to be seen. Inside the front door and behind a red, velvety curtain in the imposing 113-year-old house on the edge of Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition, their playroom is also abandoned.
    • Jun 3, 2013
  • Studying Spokane
  • Studying Spokane

    One third-year med student relishes his time at UW East
    • Apr 2, 2013
  • Ever Ready
  • Ever Ready

    What happens after you dial 911?
    • Apr 2, 2013
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Screw Big Cities

    A mid-sized manifesto
    • Dec 3, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation