More MS news articles for September 2002

Reefer Madness

Sep, 2002

In a move that proves the ancient grunge proverb, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not after you," the federal Drug Enforcement Administration descended upon Santa Cruz's model medical pot farm in a pre-Sept. 11 surprise raid that slaps the face of Cali's voter-approved 1996 ballot measure, Prop. 215 allowing for the use of medical pot.

Last week's harvest-season bust decimated the annual supply of the club, affecting mostly people diagnosed with terminal, multipain and multisymptom illnesses like cancer and AIDS, who make up about 80 percent of the membership-based organization Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM). (See MetroNews story, page 8.) Representing an alternate take, DEA agents arrested 130 huge pot plants approaching full bloom, farm executive director VALERIE CORRAL and her partner, MICHAEL.

The next day, a small but critical mass of protesters took their "DEA Go Away" and other pro-pot-prescription signs to One First Street in downtown SJ to present their opinions in front of the building that houses local drug enforcement officials.

The protest was thrown by the pro-medic-pot grassroots Safe Access Now campaign and organized by DENNIS UMPHRESS, a Libertarian candidate running for the San Jose congressional seat held by Dem ZOE LOFGREN.

While it's hard to take a Libertarian seriously when he or she talks about tweaking laws--since the party is supposedly about getting rid of government--Umphress made an effective (though perhaps a wee bit off topic) point when he railed against the huge sentences that cause some pot possessors to stay in prison longer than some rapists and murderers.

More on point were 51-year-old LOREY CAPELLI from the Santa Cruz Mountains and 59-year-old WALTER COKER from Mountain View.

Both have doctor recommendations to smoke pot--Capelli for multiple sclerosis and Coker for chronic back pain, among other things.

Mountain View computer security guy ALAN ROCKEFELLER, 24 (who IS a relation, but wouldn't say how), came out to the protest because, he said, "I'll go anywhere where they're fighting the drug war.

What the DEA is doing is unjust and not a very good use of my tax dollars." Eye'll smoke to that.

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