Valerie Corral

Following an auto accident in 1973 that caused a brain trauma and resulted in my becoming epileptic, I began using marijuana 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 my seizure activity.

In 1992 I was arrested with my husband, Mike, for the cultivation of five marijuana plants. Spurred by this arrest I 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 I was ushered into the legal, political and social foreground of this health issue. The spring of 1993 brought judiciary success. In response to this victory the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana was born. Later that year we were rearrested for cultivation and distribution to other patients.

About The WAMM Organization

WAMM has emerged as a unique model, a patient self-help alliance, and an alternative to the inflated prices of an illicit black market. Need rather than financial capability affirm the inherent value of medical marijuana. A handful of seriously ill patients has grown into a collective membership of more than 250 seriously intentioned citizens.

Active in education and research, we provide data regarding our findings. Information collected since 1993 regarding the efficacy of different marijuana varieties and measured effects on different symptoms is the basis for our study. I have recently completed a second paper, Differential Effects of Medical Marijuana Based on Strain & Route of Administration: A Three-Year Observational Study, peer reviewed and published in 2001.

Our financial support is entirely dependent upon donations and funding. We are not a “buyer’s club,” we do not sell nor buy marijuana, rather approved clients with a physician’s recommendation receive services at no cost. We have assigned a new value to marijuana, the relief that it provides from suffering. Patient/members withdraw provisions from a common holding. Each member receives according to need and returns to WAMM according to ability. There are no financial or other demands required for participation.

About Our Members

WAMM is a legitimate and necessary community service of Santa Cruz County serving more than 250 seriously ill men and women who suffer from life threatening illness. We do so as a legitimate city agent, functioning in compliance with HS11362.5 and acting in accordance with Santa Cruz City Ordinance SC 2000-06 & 2000-12.

Members receive a multitude of services including medical relief, but the creation of community is an aspect of paramount concern to those disenfranchised by illness. We enlist a collective council responsible for initiating ideas and responding to internal problems. During our weekly support and supply meetings participants join together to find much needed emotional and social support. Sick and dying people often face discrimination, intolerance and arrest. Problem solving, attention to the personal empowerment, consciousness and awareness are among the gifts that we are called upon to share.

Our family of members finds a collective voice, a means of relief, and a sense of value within the support systems of WAMM. Over the years clients have emerged from the isolation and fear of a life threatening condition to become part of the WAMM community and when they face what we must all someday face, the inevitability of death, our care teams often include other WAMM MEMBERS.

Contacting WAMM

WAMM
309 Cedar Street
No. 390
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Posted by A. Shapiro
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