Medicinal pot group plans protest

July 14, 2005

Ken McLaughlin, Mercury News (San Jose)

Medicinal marijuana patients will carry live cannabis plants through the streets of Santa Cruz on Saturday in what is expected to be the city's largest demonstration since protesters passed out medicinal marijuana at City Hall nearly three years ago.

The Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana says the march will be a ``solemn event'' honoring the 154 alliance members who have died since the group's inception in 1993. Organizers say more than 1,000 people will join the protest against the U.S. Supreme Court's recent 6-3 ruling that federal laws trump the efforts of California and other states to permit pot for sick and dying patients.

The march will begin at noon at Pacific Avenue and Cathcart Street, heading north to Church Street. The marchers will then assemble at City Hall on Center Street for a 1 p.m. rally.

The September 2002 protest was triggered by a raid on the alliance's garden north of Davenport. About 30 Drug Enforcement Administration agents carrying M-16s cut down 167 plants, arresting alliance founders Valerie and Michael Corral. More march information is at www.wamm.org.



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