WAMM moves forward, cautiously
No replies to this topic
Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:18 AM
"We're not exactly sure what's going to happen with the feds," said Michael Corral, co-founder of Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz. However, "I feel in all likelihood we will be probably be left alone."
WAMM has been growing and providing medical marijuana to patients in need since the early 1990s. The nonprofit co-op was founded after Corral suffered epileptic seizures following a 1973 car accident, and found that marijuana could control them without other medication.
Last week's announcement was a stark turnaround from 2002, when the home Corral shared with wife and WAMM co-founder Valerie Corral near Davenport was raided by federal agents, who arrested them and plucked 167 marijuana plants from the ground. The two were released and never charged, and a federal judge last year issued an injunction against interfering with the Corrals' marijuana garden and nonprofit collective.
But they've been on the lookout ever since, reducing the size of their grow and the number of patients they supply, even though the center alliance they run is in compliance with state law.
The Obama administration last week announced that cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries would not be a priority if the groups complied with state laws. As a result, a lawsuit filed with Santa Cruz city and county over whether the federal government has the right to interfere with local municipalities is one of many now on hold, as law enforcement reviews the cases.
Corral said the announcement left the duo optimistic enough to expand their fields, and they are now accepting new members into the collaborative. But until they receive more details of what, exactly, President Barack Obama has in mind, they still operate under caution. What happened in 2002 could happen again, Corral said.
"We're not going to hold our breath or anything," Corral said, "But it's promising."
WAMM operates primarily on donations. Many of those are raised by the popular but controversial WAMMfest, an art and music festival held annually in San Lorenzo Park that also attracts marijuana smokers who are not lighting up for medicinal reasons.
I work for WAMM!!! :hippie::hippie::hippie: