Medical Marijuana March Planned For Santa Cruz

July 14, 2005

, KSBW -TV (Santa Cruz)

Organizers of a medical marijuana march in Santa Cruz Saturday promise a festive atmosphere and a bit of reverence for their deceased colleagues.

Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana spent its day preparing for the downtown march and rally. About 150 members of the cooperative plan to march through downtown starting at noon, with participants carrying about 25 live pot plants.

The Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana said the march will be a 'solemn event,' honoring the 154 alliance members who have died since the group's inception 12 years ago.

Another reason for Saturday's march is a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dealt the state medical marijuana law a huge setback because federal laws trump the efforts of California and other states to permit marijuana for sick and dying patients.

Parade organizers told Action News 8 that they are asking people not to light up in respect for the event.

'It's not about using marijuana. This is not a venue for people who have another message,' said alliance spokesman Valerie Corral. 'It's strictly a clear shot to the laws of Congress, to the judiciary, that we should not have to go underground. We should not have to fear our government. We should be protected by our government.'

After the march, there will be an Assembly at City Hall. Just three years ago, a protest was staged at City Hall to protest the raid of the alliance garden in Davenport. Federal agents arrested alliance founders Valerie and Mike Corral.

The March is scheduled at noon at Pacific Avenue and Cathcart Street, and will head north to Church Street. The rally will begin at 1 p.m.

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