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Santa Cruz Gives the Feds a WAMM

Santa Cruz citizens tell the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to get the "Drug War" out of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM).
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3:00pm - Tuesday September 17, 2002

"Citizenship Day"

The energy radiating from the Santa Cruz City Hall could be felt from far away. Hundreds of people came together to express their support for the medicinal use of cannabis and the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in particular. Santa Cruz residents, including physicians, politicians, and caregivers, addressed today's crowd in strong support of WAMM and the rights of California voters who passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

There will be a rally in Sacramento on September 23 in support of the medicinal use of cannabis.

For more information on September 23, please visit:

Americans for Safe Access

Rise Up for Medical Marijuana!

Come to Sacramento - Monday, September 23
Demand Bush Pardon Bryan Epis & End War on all MMJ Patients

All medical marijuana patients, supporters, organizers, and activists in California are needed for what is shaping up to be a major medical marijuana mobilization to Sacramento on the 23rd!

Starting with a press conference and rally outside the Epis sentencing hearing at the Federal Building, 501 I st. at 9 am, moving to a demo at the south side of the Capitol at noon, and later a civil disobedience action somewhere, there is a watershed event in the works for MMJ! ASA, AAMC, AMMA, CANORML, WAMM, MMPU and others are co-sponsoring, and we are looking for every MMJ & drug policy organization in CA to endorse.

Since the WAMM raid, more people from all over the state are mobilizing for Sacramento, and buses are coming from Santa Cruz, LA, San Diego, Orange County, Humboldt and the Bay Area. Our target is to bring at least 100 people from every MMJ hub in California. We are trying to arrange housing for those from afar who need it.


News Alerts:

Valerie and Mike Corral were arrested by the DEA on Sept 5th, 2002 and all the plants were ripped out weeks before harvesting them for the ill.

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer Calls for Meeting with Federal Authorities About Unprecedented Medical Marijuana Raids

Santa Cruz County supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday condemning the federal governmens raid of the Wo/Mes Alliance for Medical Marijuana garden.

Read the DEA's war on the sick Orange County Register editorial.

Pictures from the Sept. 5th raid by Jean Hanamoto. Before and After photos of the garden , More photos.

You Can Help:

We need financial help to cover the legal battle. Click here to donate money.

California residents are urged to send a pre-written letter to their California Senators and Representative calling on Congress to denounce the DEs recent actions in California.

Send a comment to WAMM

Join your voice with these Community Leaders:

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer
"This is targeting people who consistent with California voters direction are trying to provide medicine to people that are terminally ill and in need of help. For the federal government to step on that it just strikes me that they're a bunch of big bullies,"

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt
Called the DEs actionsabsolutely appallin and praised WAMM as anextremely responsible collective; they have operated in a way that has been exemplary. It is not reassuring to me to know that federal agents, instead of concentrating on issues of national security, are running around the mountains of Santa Cruz County disrupting the work of people who provide a valuable medical resource to the community," she added.

U.S. Representative Sam Farr
Said the DEA should focus on more pressing woes, calling Thursdas action "outrageous." "With all the difficult problems the world faces, I find it hard to believe the DEA should further punish sick people, most of whom are terminally ill, by arresting them and carting them off to jail," Farr said in a statement. "This is truly outrageous."

"The DEA under the Bush administration has made it perfectly clear that they don't care about the will of California voters, who think medical marijuana should be available for people whose doctors believe they would benefit from it," Attorney General Bill Lockyer's spokeswoman Hallye Jordan said Thursday.

Santa Cruz City Attorney John Barisone
"The thought is, do they want to come and confront a 70-year-old woman in a wheelchair?" He said. "The comments that council members are getting from people on the street are along the line of, 'With all of the things the DEA is responsible for, how did this get to No. 1 on the 'to do' list?' "

Santa Cruz Mayor Christopher Krohn
"We want to call attention to this issue. There was an injustice here being done, and I think it's incumbent of the elected representatives to stand up for their constituents and make a statement."

Vice Mayor of Santa Cruz, Emily Reilly
"Is just absolutely loathsome to me that federal money, energy and staff time would be used to harass people like this,"

Santa Cruz City Councilman Mark Primack
"we are expressing what we feel to be the entire community's outrage and our support for those who are struggling to make this program work. "

Deputy Kim Allyn of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department said the DEA never told his department about the raid. Deputies went there after the fact only to keep the peace between protesters and DEA agents, he said: "Our concern is to make sure nobody gets hurt."
The department has a marijuana enforcement team targeting illegal trafficking, Allen said, but meets regularly with the Corrals and had deemed WAMM in compliance with -- and protected by -- state law.

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Brownies with Cannabis

Selected WAMM patients graciously accepted chocolate brownies made with love and medicanal cannabis.

Support of Santa Maria

Wow, I think it is great that the Santa Cruz community will not be broken by Federal Government. I only wish I could be there protesting and standing up for something so right. I think it is outrageous for terminally ill patients to be put to suffer the last hours and days of their life because the DEA cosiders them drug addicts. The only junkies in this situation are the agents who were sick enough to support raiding, stealing, and even more important, taking advantage of the elderly. My support is yours and I will do all I can here in Santa Maria, California.

Your fellow patrot,

Nathan Leishman


George is sharing his thoughts with a reporter.

Mike Corral can be seen in the background.


From Americans for Safe Access:

We have buses coming from throughout California, and we need YOU to fill them. Please call us or make an on-line bus reservation. These bus seats are FREE for those that need them, though donations are always gratefully accepted. We need you, and your family and friends to come out for this one.

Symbolic Posturing by Politicians Is Not Enough

It was certainly heartening to see over 500 people packing City Hall with national media streaming live there.
But when all the hoopla is gone and Mayor Krohn gives his last five interviews with the tv cameras, what action have he and his posturing political allies actually committed themselves to?

When I asked him publicly if he were willing to introduce a public health medical marijuana emergency law, he smiled and looked the other way.

When I asked him if he would introduce legislation like the current San Francisco Initiative, to allot city land to growth of medical marijuana, so the next raid of the DEA terrorists would have to face city officials and police. He turned away to talk with someone else.

When I asked him if he would move to revise the unworkable Santa Cruz Marijuana Ordinance that drove the major buyers club (Santa Cruz Cannabis Pharmaceuticals) out of business and sent 1000-1500 clients to the streets in search of their medicine, he walked away and began talking to high school students.

I confess I'm more than a little sickened by his perpetual grin and his cliches about "when the people lead, the leaders will follow." He's had four years to do something real, or at least, make some real proposals on this issue. I have heard none.

WAMM leaders specifically disinvited other medical marijuana providers from bringing medicine to share with medical marijuana card holders. Only specified WAMM members on a list designated by the WAMM leaders were publicly given medication. Not only did this prevent people from getting needed medicine, but it ill-served other providers who needed to be assured that not just WAMM but other local clubs were valued and appreciated by the political elite.

The afternoon was also a highly controlled crowd situation where normally open areas were roped off, "monitors" appointed guarding the entranceds, and public spaces comandeered. I was ordered out of the area myself, even though I'm a Free Radio Santa Cruz radio broadcaster and a journalist for a homeless paper. I ignored the directive, but the implications of what was done was not lost on me.

While we obviously all support any victims of DEA raids, it is also important to understand the background of what has been happening. City Council and WAMM leaders in the last two years have colluded in creating bogus legislation that denies medical marijuana to all but the less than 300 members of Valorie's club where before four or five times that many were served. Nothing that happened at this major media event gave any promise that Council and WAMM were interested in acknowledging this situation, much less changing it.

I put some of my concerns in a flyer also posted on this website "Time for Real Action..." I encourage people to call City Council and the Board of Supervisors to take immediate action on concrete proposals, and not just support a day of limited symbolic gestures.

I also think a more balanced view of the local political scene is important for people to exert the right kind of peer pressure to change a bad situation where there is institutional monopoly. And to prompt political change where politicians are catering to the few rather than the many.

Santa Cruz

Damn im proud to see the city counsil do something in true santa cruz tradition. i know when my grandma was sick the only time she ate any thing or fealt better is when she smoked i love this town.

Re: Santa Cruz Gives the Feds a WAMM

Since we are taking a walk down memory lane, I thought I'd post the following campaign statement that was distributed in August of that year.

Had I put the statement out a month or two later I would have also pointed out that the extremely restrictive zoning laws against medical marijuana passed by the Santa Cruz Council made the City Council's own medical marijuana giveaway illegal according to their own laws. I'd say this not to oppose the giveaway, but to point out the hypocrisy of City Council members who did their one-day photo-op on a popular issue, while in practice actually keeping patients from getting their medicine on a daily basis.

Legalize It! Statement of City Council Candidate STEVE ARGUE:

While I do not smoke marijuana I feel that the use of marijuana is an adult person’s individual decision where the government should not be involved.

The positive effect of medical marijuana in helping people combating a number of illnesses has been well established. Yet the Santa Cruz City Council has shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Cruz through extremely restrictive zoning. I oppose this interference with people getting their needed medicine and take issue with the idea that users of medical marijuana are dangerous people.

While I do not promote the use of any drug for recreational, use of marijuana does not have the deadly side effects found with the legal drugs of tobacco and alcohol. This fact to me makes the enforcement of marijuana prohibition hypocritical.

While the United States claims to be a bastion of freedom it locks up a larger percentage of its population than any other industrialized country in the world. Two million people sit in the prison system. Of these the majority are locked up for non-violent drug offenses, many for marijuana. In these numbers families are torn apart and there is countless suffering.

It is my opinion that all violations of marijuana laws are victimless crimes, until the police step in. At that point the marijuana user becomes the victim.

The drug war has failed its stated goal. Illegal drugs continue to be available to people who want to buy them, and people continue to want to buy them. Yet despite this failure the U.S. government continues to ruin people’s lives.

I say if there is no victim there is no crime. While the City Council will not have the authority to legalize marijuana there are important things that can be done to halt marijuana stings and slow marijuana enforcement. If elected I will fight for a majority on the City Council to make police enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority of the police department. In addition Police Chief Belcher will have to be replaced by someone who, unlike him, is sympathetic to political rights, the poor, and the right to smoke pot.

Only our collective action can bring change.


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