Following an car accident in 1973 that caused a brain trauma and resulted in becoming epileptic, she having tried many ways to treat herself, she started growing #Cannabis for personal use and she began using it as an adjunct medicine. This treatment replaced a rigorous pharmaceutical regimen. With deliberate application and mindful monitoring, marijuana was to eventually become the medicine that has continued to control her seizure activity.
She has gotten busted many times for growing, but it wasn't until the 5th time that her former husband and she actually got arrested. By then she had been growing for over eighteen years and she never intended it for big sale. Medical #Marijuana was not a thing in America until she challenged California law. With the assistance of her husband Mike, she treated her epilepsy with cannabis for several years before being arrested twice for cultivating plants.
She went to court pleading not guilty because she was growing it as a medicine for myself. Her plea started a whole new way of looking at cannabis, invoking the medical necessity defense. The state refused to prosecute the corrals both times, but the incident put them at the center of a newly forming push toward medical legalization in California, culminating in the passage of "Proposition 215".
Her name is "Valerie Corral", she is a resident of Santa Cruz, California, and as a result of her personal experience, Corral has become a nationally renowned medical marijuana activist. She helped author California's Compassionate Use Act, and founded a hospice care center for Santa Cruz patients who use medical marijuana to alleviate symptoms associated with various terminal diseases and conditions.
She formed "Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana", the country's first caregiver co-op, which continues to function until January 1st, 2018. Over the years the financial climate around cannabis in the United States has changed into a million dollar industry, but she still isn't interested in making money off of cannabis. She has witnessed nearly sixty patients in her collective become homeless following their diagnosis due to medical bankruptcy, she said:
I know I can make a lot of money off pot, but I don't really work with pot, I work with people. People don't have to be suffering. If they are in pain, we can help excavate that instead of adding to it, which is what the market place does. It creates a false sense of value, when the real value is asking How can this plant help the situation that you're in? Personally I don't think my needs are greater than somebody who's sick.
The Corrals & WAMM
In 1992 she was arrested with her husband, Mike for the cultivation of five marijuana plants. Spurred by this arrest she became involved in the campaign to #Legalize medical marijuana. As the first patient in the state of California to challenge existing law and based on a defense of necessity she was ushered into the legal, political and social foreground of this health issue. The spring of 1993 brought judiciary success, and after this victory the "WAMM" was born.
On September 5, 2002, the U.S. "Drug Enforcement Administration" raided the corrals collective garden, seized and destroyed patients' medical marijuana. After 2 weeks the corrals planned an action joined by Santa Cruz City and County officials, supervisors, physicians and other supporters while thousands gathered to observe 13 "WAMM" members receive their marijuana medicine on the steps of City Hall.
The corrals have not faltered form their work, in fact "WAMM" has grown stronger. The "Drug Czar" requesting an injunction against the federal government so that the corrals may continue to grow in their collective garden barring any reprisal from federal authorities. The corrals have also engaged in a lawsuit for return of the marijuana taken by the DEA.
WAMM / The Cry Movie - Medical Marijuana
WAMM (1993-2018) / The Tragic Irony
The "American Civil Liberties Union" currently represent the corrals in a suit against the federal government, seeking an injunction against future raids and arrests on the basis that Americans have a constitutional right to alleviate pain and suffering through medical marijuana.
So, the federal government was unable to shut them down on September 5, 2002 but the "Tragic Irony", California government has effectively shut them down on January 1st, 2018 and since then, "WAMM" (1993-2018) that serving more than 2,000 men and women, has been unable to dispense medical cannabis to its patients because of California's new cannabis law.
In The Midst Of Darkness / WAMM Still In Transition
It is so sad as after 25 years was shut down, but it is not the end for non-profit medicinal cannabis dispensing collective, as in the midst of all this darkness, Corral maintained a positive outlook, she spent trying to find a new home for the "WAMM" farm, as she believed that WAMM’s generosity would somehow be repaid and that it "Would Survive"!
Today, "WAMM" is still in transition, still figuring out its place in California’s new legal system. Corral says that "WAMM" has just finalized renting a building in downtown Santa Cruz, where they’ll be able to offer cannabis education courses, host fun events like comedy shows, and have a doctor and a chemist volunteering there.
But for now, as the sun bends behind the redwood ridge, Corral is thinking about how to make room on the farm for all the guests’ cars who will be arriving for the harvest party and helping her mother feed the bees.
Valerie Corral / Director Of WAMM
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