CHEM420 is a new course that will teach students how to grow, sell and smoke marijuana. While the class itself is controversial, many steps have been taken by the chemistry department to ensure safety and education for students.
“All who take the class are required to have an Ohio MMJ [medical marijuana] card. To register, students have to submit a photo of their card, the same way that they uploaded a picture of their COVID-19 vaccination card,” Dr. Mac Johnson, co-professor for CHEM420, said.
Johnson and his colleague, Dr. Devin Overstreet, both became passionate about marijuana legislation in 2012 when Johnson introduced Overstreet to marijuana during their senior year of high school.
Johnson and Overstreet began growing marijuana shortly after graduating, teaching themselves how to grow the strongest strains. They both want to educate people on the ins and outs of growing, as it is safer than buying off the street and cheaper than going to a dispensary.
CHEM420 gained popularity quickly. With a high enrollment rate, the class waitlist is currently at 69 students.
“We were not expecting this many students to be interested in the course. We have been discussing the possibility of offering this course in the Spring 2023 semester,” said Overstreet.
While students are excited about the course, there has been negative feedback on social media.
“It’s disgusting that [the university] is offering classes of that nature. It not only is offensive, but extremely illegal. My youngest child was thinking of applying to this university but after learning about this course, I will not allow her,” said Karen Smith via Bexley Buzz Facebook group.
Smith’s post has over 200 comments, some agreeing with her statement and some disagreeing.
Many of the commenters are students who are registered for the course, defending the chemistry department.
“The course is in the student’s best interest. People are already smoking weed, why not give them a safe environment to do so? Having a safe place to do these activities stops them from smoking in the Public Safety parking lot,” said Cheech Marin, third-year environmental science major.
Martin claims that he and his best friend, Tommy Chong, also a third-year environmental science major, have already been growing marijuana in their dorm room and are excited to share their growing secrets with the rest of campus.
“College is expensive, dude. We have to pay tuition somehow. This was the easiest way for us. We can focus on the plants while we do homework and don’t have to worry about working a job around our class schedules. We choose when we want to work,” Chong said.
The course currently has one time slot, but the chemistry department is quickly working on a new schedule that will allow more students to take the class in the fall.