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Valerie Corral – 2

David: How did WAMM begin, and what makes WAMM different than other medical marijuana organizations?

Valerie: WAMM grew from being arrested. That jacked us right out of the closet. We had already worked with eighteen friends and family members who had died by the time of that first arrest in 1992–one of which was my Dad. After having successfully challenged the law (based on the “necessity” doctrine common law dating back to the Magna Carta) we were inundated with calls. There was a move to open a buyer’s club like Dennis Peron’s in San Francisco on Church Street in Santa Cruz. We were part of the original team of Santa Cruzans–a lot of remarkable activists and movers–but we never had the taste for the “club” idea, and our vision didn’t really appeal to the local activists. 

By mid 1993 we were veterans of two arrests, and had to face a lack of available medicine. Having to buy it made it painfully clear that we weren’t the only ones who couldn’t afford to pay black market prices. We wanted to create an organization where there was access to marijuana that didn’t cost very much money. That was really the impetus–that it shouldn’t cost a lot of money. Illness is sobering. People read of our victory and began to contact us. It was a very organic beginning. The more people called to ask about

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