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 (WAMM) was born. Later that year we were rearrested for cultivation and distribution to other patients.

September 5, 2002 brought the DEA to our collective garden. They arrested my husband Mike and me. On September 17th we organized an action joined by Santa Cruz City and County officials, mayors past and present, supervisors, physicians and other supporters while thousands gathered to observe 13 WAMM members receive their marijuana medicine on the steps of City Hall. WE have not faltered form our work, in fact WAMM has grown stronger. WAMM has been joined by both the City and the County of Santa Cruz in lawsuit against John Ashcroft, the DEA and the Drug Czar requesting an injunction against the federal government so that we may continue to grow in our collective garden barring any reprisal from federal authorities. We have also engaged in a lawsuit for return of the marijuana taken by the DEA on September 5th.