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Center Column Archives
Northern California’s status as the home of high-quality marijuana didn’t need much reinforcement, but the region dominated the competition at the first High Times Medical Cannabis Cup on June 19th and 20th in San Francisco. The event featured a presentation by internationally renowned, best-selling author Jorge Cervantes during his first U.S. appearance. There was also an expo, cultivation seminars, an activism session with leaders of the medical marijuana movement and much more.
The world premiere screening of La Vie en Verte: The WAMM Movie
will take place on Wednesday, May 12th
, 6:30pm at the Riverfront Theater, as part of the Santa Cruz Film Festival. La Vie en Verte
documents the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), a "collective of patients and caregivers [who have been] providing hope, building community and offering medical marijuana on a donation basis” for over a decade. In the film, we meet Valerie and Mike Corral, and follow their journey as they dedicate their lives to offering compassionate care despite the antagonism of the brutal federal government. Valerie and Mike Corral will be at the screening, in addition to directors Charlie Hall and Bevin-Bell Hall.
The International Cannabis and Hemp Exposition took place at the Cow Palace in Daly City on April 17th and 18th. The expo, which had the first permitted area for the use of medical marijuana, was the largest event of its kind to hit Northern California. Prominent members of the cannabis community discussed a wide-range of topics, however the main buzz, on and off stage, was the initiative to "legalize, control, and tax cannabis in California," which is to be decided by voters in the state during the November 2010 elections.
Roger Mentch, founding member of The Hemporium, a medical marijuana collective in Felton, says that protection for Santa Cruz patients, growers, caregivers, and collectives is long over due. He is helping to form a new chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) in Santa Cruz County to help bring together like minded people to have a voice regarding safe access to medical marijuana. Everyone is welcome to get involved and attend the first meeting on Thursday, April 22nd
from 7:15-8:45 at the Louden Nelson Center in Santa Cruz.
Four-Twenty (including 4:20, 420 and 4/20) has long been associated with marijuana use and marijuana activism. 4:20 is a time of day when people smoke marijuana. April 20th
has evolved into a counterculture holiday, known for large gatherings of people celebrating and consuming marijuana, a.k.a. cannabis. Thousands of people gather annually in Boston, Boulder, New York, Santa Cruz, Seattle and many other cities in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and elsewhere around the world.
Roger Mentch, founding member of The Hemporium, a Santa Cruz County medical marijuana collective located in Felton, has been met with more resistance. Santa Clara County recently incarcerated Mentch, as well as Laura Eldridge, a disabled patient. Mentch spent five months behind bars at Elmwood Jail in Milpitas. He has been out of state custody since August 2009, and his next court date is scheduled on Friday, March 19th
in San Jose. Mentch argues that he has been the victim of entrapment by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
On Tuesday, March 9th, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 6-0 to support a recommendation from the city staff which bans the opening of an additional medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Cruz. This was the first reading of the vote and there will be a second vote in two weeks to finalize the ruling. Under the new ordinance, the two existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be permitted to operate a cultivation facility up to 3,000 square feet, which must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).