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Statement of Valerie and Michael Corral on behalf of themselves and other members of WAMM
by Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana
Friday Jan 22nd, 2010 3:28 PM
Santa Cruz v. Holder has been settled!
Read Valerie Corral's full statement
January 22, 2010 Statement of Valerie and Michael Corral on behalf of themselves and other members of WAMM

We begin this missive fully recognizing the advantage that our model of governance provides. Few sovereign states have employed such a separation of power. This fundamental tenet provides a rare opportunity to offer our thoughts.

When liberty is at stake the peril of failure threatens the positive consequences of a society. Every monumental change comes at great risk and finally at even greater cost. Yet, it is due to the courage of countless citizens that we are free to write this and because of their struggle to maintain such principles that we are obliged to do so.

Few arguments have been ignored either in support or opposition, legal or emotional regarding the complex and problematic struggle for access to medical marijuana and the relief of suffering that it provides. In the more than seven years that have passed since the DEA raided our home, took medicine from our collective of critically ill patients and hastened their deaths, every day has been marked by the actions of our government. No wisdom can be gained without experience and no experience without discomfort. These have been discernibly uncomfortable years. Everything has changed, yet one thing has not ceased; that is the unrelenting death of WAMM members, now numbering more than 200. Last week my brother’s death increased our number of losses. Having the fortune to sit at the bedsides of people during the most important times of their lives, as they face death, has informed us that there is no man- made law that governs death and no experience short of the journey itself that can enlighten the bewildered mind. While we may bow to the mystery that has yet to be revealed, one thing is certain, there is no better agent of truth than one who rests in the experience.

A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. The interest of society is to protect the rights of its citizens, to preserve civil and natural liberty. That really is our government’s job. It is the business of human beings to concern ourselves with the well being of others. It is our social obligation to encourage right action and to assuage suffering. But what then if our efforts to alleviate pain are at odds with our government? As principled citizens we are faced with the timeless "struggle between authority and liberty.” How is it that this debate persists through the development of governing bodies, partisan lines and countless representatives… for surely every individual enters into a personal contract with suffering when faced with illness. Were it possible for government to endure our pain then perhaps our social obligation would diminish. But this is not the case and so it becomes the very thing that inspires us to seek justice.

Has justice been served in the wake of our struggle? Is it enough that we walk away with a just a wink from the Department of Justice? What concession has our government made? Who offers conciliation in trade for our fathomless loss? What guarantee of freedom to pursue our work is provided? Were it not for the court, then we are afraid our voices would be completely silenced. This leaves us both grateful and troubled.

We wish to be acknowledged as the model for dealing with the issues of poverty and healthcare as no other medical marijuana organization has. We assert that some reparation is due for the casualties realized in the aftermath of the raid; an act so chilling that many members fled from our collective for fear of reprisal, while others died agonizingly because we simply did not have enough medicine to serve them. Their deaths galvanized our efforts and we prepared to endure the obstacles ahead. We gained notoriety for our altruism, but the financial strain wore our foundation threadbare.

Seven years have passed since the day the DEA raided our home and changed our lives and each day we set forth to continue our mission to serve the critically ill and dying, just as we have for more than 17 years. We recognize that it is no small thing for government to concede to actions contrary to law and perhaps, the fact that we persist without interference ought to be enough. But, somehow it isn’t.

We hope that over time the federal government will recognize its senseless position on medical marijuana and will formally codify protections for sick, dying and marginalized patients who have the right to use whatever substances their physicians recommend to ease suffering. We are nonetheless, heartened by the federal government's newly declared position suggesting deference to state medical marijuana laws and we are extraordinarily proud of our Collective's role in effecting this change in policy. However, should our government break their word and again pursue their senseless assault on the sick and dying, we stand at the ready and we promise to hold them accountable in a court of law.

Submitted January 22, 2010
United States Government Courts
District Court
Honorable Judge Jeremy Fogel
San Jose, California
by Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana Friday Jan 22nd, 2010 3:28 PM
§Cannabis Medicine - WAMM
by hampapartiet Friday Jan 22nd, 2010 8:55 PM
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September 5, 2002 -- WAMM (Wo/Men´s Alliance for Medical Marijuana) is closed down by the Federal Government and 300 seriously ill people are without medicine.

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by Background from DPA Network
Saturday Jan 23rd, 2010 2:17 PM

The Drug Policy Alliance, together with the prestigious law firm Bingham McCutchen, criminal defense attorney Gerald Uelmen, and Santa Cruz attorney Ben Rice, is representing the city and county of Santa Cruz, seven terminally and chronically ill patients and the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in an unprecedented lawsuit against the federal government. The suit, Santa Cruz v. Ashcroft, aims to halt the Bush Administration’s ongoing interference with state medical marijuana laws.

The suit was prompted by a raid that received national attention September 2002, in which armed agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stormed WAMM, terrorizing residents and patients. WAMM, which provides medical marijuana under California’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215), was shut down and several members were detained.

This case is the first in which a public entity sued the federal government on behalf of patients who need medical marijuana.  The case also focuses on the constitutional right of chronically and terminally ill patients to control the circumstances of their own pain relief and ultimately their deaths - a right recognized by the Supreme Court. WAMM itself is also unique. Unlike other medical marijuana cooperatives, it doubles as a hospice and does not charge money for its services.

The lawsuit was filed against Attorney General John Ashcroft, DEA Acting Administrator John Brown, and Drug Czar John Walters. The seven patient-plaintiffs in the lawsuit (one of whom passed away earlier this year)  represent the interests of approximately 200 other patients, and their caregivers that make up the WAMM collective. They suffer from HIV/AIDS, cancer, post-polio syndrome, epilepsy, and chronic pain. These patients use medical marijuana to relieve such symptoms as: nausea and vomiting, wasting syndrome, neuropathy, and severe and chronic pain.

In August 2003, San Jose federal district court judge Jeremy Fogel, citing federal law, dismissed the lawsuit but allowed WAMM the opportunity to amend their claims. In December 2003 and again in February 2004, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers in Raich v. Ashcroft, a case funded in part by the Drug Policy Alliance. Per the court’s decision in Raich patients and their caregivers can, with a physician's recommendation, continue to legally cultivate and use the drug without federal interference, as long as they do so without engaging in any "commerce" and within state borders.

During the Raich case, the Ninth Circuit questioned Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel’s decision to dismiss the County and City of Santa Cruz v. Ashcroft case. In March 2004 the Alliance and our co-counsel for the WAMM plaintiffs requested that the judge reconsider its ruling and re-hear the case.

Judge Fogel reconsidered the case based on the December 2003 decision in Raich v. Ashcroft and on April 21, 2004 granted a preliminary injunction denying the government's motion to dismiss the WAMM members' complaint. Judge Fogel’s decision protects the more than 200 seriously ill WAMM members while their lawsuit is pending, and allows the collective to resume cultivation.

On April 20, 2004 Attorney General John Ashcroft filed a Petition for Certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to overturn the 9th Circuit Court's decision on Raich.  The attorneys representing the defendants in the Raich case asked the Supreme Court to not grant certiorari. On June 28 of 2004 the United States Supreme Court announced that they would consider the case in the upcoming fall term.

In a matter related to Santa Cruz v. Ashcroft on September 24, 2002, WAMM and Valerie and Michael Corral, who head the collective, filed a motion asking the court to order the federal government to return more than 160 marijuana plants and other property seized by federal agents in the September 5, 2002 raid.   U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel denied the motion to return the property December 3, 2002, and the decision was appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This action is separate from their civil rights lawsuit against the government, under which the federal government was recently prohibited from raiding WAMM or its members.

On June 18, 2004, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the motion for return of property back to Judge Fogel asking his court to reconsider the case in light of the Raich decision.  The 9th Circuit Court asked Judge Fogel’s District Court to reconsider the case after the Supreme Court “has completed its action in Raich.”

More Information

January 21, 2010
Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties hereby jointly stipulate to the dismissal of this action without prejudice.
by jeff smiths
Wednesday Jan 27th, 2010 11:45 PM
I have to admit to being pretty insulted when marijuana dispensaries and growers speak with such righteous indignation about how the raids are affecting their dying, suffering, terminally ill patients when everyone knows that the vast majority of their customers are not in this category. If this market served only terminally ill or suffering individuals, there wouldn't be so many people trying to get involved in it. there just wouldn't be any profit. I want to puke when I read this type of fraudulent line of reasoning. The certification process for medical marijuana is a sham and if you're so concerned for your truly suffering, terminally ill patients maybe you should look to ways of legitimizing the system so that only these people are able to buy at your dispensary. Oh but then there wouldn't be any money in it. There are far less terminally ill patients than people approved for medical marijuana. The fact is, you want your cake and to eat it too. You want to be able to legally grow and sell something that is illegal for anyone else to do. This cuts out your competition and raises your profits. I'm sure you're also more than happy to not ask questions when a perfectly healthy 22 year old guy comes in to your store with the necessary credentials. outright legalization would cut your profits also. So which is it? right now growers and dispensaries live in a golden age provided by the ambiguity of the laws and enforcement, allowing them to basically sell to anyone who can afford $150 diagnosis and is interested in buying marijuana. I'm not sure whether I'd want my children to smoke marijuana if I had them, but a high percentage of people I associate with do. So , no I don't hate marijuana. If you're truly concerned for the terminally ill, fight for them by pushing for reform of the present system. If you just want to be able to make a good profit off everyone who casually uses marijuana then either be prepared for raids or fight to get marijuana legal. the alternative is just self serving. I just hate it when raided individuals try to hang out the terminally ill to illicit pity for their self serving, money making agenda.
by ellen
Wednesday Feb 3rd, 2010 10:29 AM
In fact Cannabis can save the rainforest of the pacific west coast, just by allowing the pulping of hemp which is Sativa Cannabis. Hemp paper is much higher in quality than wood pulp. Wood pulp paper lasts for one hundred years, whereas hemp pulped paper lasts for a thousand years. Hemp is an annual crop that provides a very livable wage for the local farmers and peasants, and one acre of hemp equals four acres of west coast rainforest, which takes hundreds of years to grow.

Its magic medicine miracle does't stop there, it makes vehicle bodies stronger than steel, and it can be grown organically leaving the soils safe and strong for the comming generations. Whereas steel making causes huge pollution and burns out maximum amounts of oxygen from the atmosphere turning it to CO2, carbon dioxide, which we cannot live on. Industrial Sativa, Inca, Hemp makes TNT. cellulose, cancer curing oils, and numerous other products too numerous to mention here. All organic and threfore leaving the earth in a livable way after its use. No exploitation of the soils need take place.

It is the oil monopolies who demonized marijuana during the twenties and thirties of the last century, and caused laws to be passed to disallow its growing by farmer-peasants, and others. that was done so that the oil monopolies could take over the markets which Cannabis Sativa, Inca, Hemp controlled, such as rope, sacks, clothing, sails, and etc., the list goes on and on. The point here is that no other crop on earth has such a numerous list of favourable uses, and all to the favour of mother earth. Legalization of Sativa Cannabis, Inca, Hemp is indeed a necessity for a clean and organic non-exploiting prosperous world.

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