Medical-Pot Festival Set

Medical-Pot Festival Set
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2005 at 06:09:28 PT
By Brian Seals, Sentinel Staff Writer
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
Santa Cruz --  Picking up the phone at her Westside office, Valerie Corral was a little preoccupied. The co-founder of the Wo/Menís Alliance for Medical Marijuana was trying to hunt down a 33-year-old member of the group whoís ill with breast cancer. And homeless."They get ill and theyíre not able to make rent," said Corral with an air of familiarity with these kinds of situations. Members of the Santa Cruz medical marijuana cooperative are accustomed to peering over their shoulders looking for federal agents and battling illness.
So a celebration is a much needed respite."Itís a way to keep some joy and levity and celebration in the mix," Corral said.The Wo/Menís Alliance for Medical Marijuana is set to host its third annual WAMMFest 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz.What began as a party commemorating the bust of a medical marijuana garden has evolved into an annual celebration.Since 2003, the cooperative has hosted the event around the anniversary of the September 2002 bust of its Davenport garden, when U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents uprooted 167 of its plants.The intervening years have been a roller coaster for the group.The second year was filled with hope, as the group was operating under a federal court injunction that barred any further raids on its garden.This year, itís back to concern as a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling put an end to that protection.Nonetheless, organizers say the party is on. They note the day is not a "smoke-out" and illegal toking is not welcomed. Rather, it is a day of music, food and crafts for kids. This year renowned author and activist Paul Krassner, known as the "father of the underground press," will be appearing at the festival.Mayor Mike Rotkin and Councilwoman Emily Reilly are scheduled for stints in the dunking booth, a fixture of the event.An estimated 1,000 people have attended each of the last two events, which Corral said the group hopes to keep an annual gathering "as long as weíre not in jail.""Weíre offering the community something back for supporting us," Corral said.A reception with writer Paul Krassner is planned at a private residence for $40 per person the night before the festival. For more information, call 425-0580, or log on to: Third annual event allows co-op to focus on positive.Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)Author: Brian Seals, Sentinel Staff WriterPublished: August 13, 2005 Copyright: 2005 Santa Cruz SentinelContact: editorial santa-cruz.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:WAMM & News from WAMM Protest Pot Backers Rally in Santa Cruz Protesters in Santa Cruz Rally for Marijuana
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