A Mother of Modern Medical Marijuana Calls in a Favor


One of California’s first, best-loved, and most well-known nonprofits — the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana — is in trouble.

A divorce between co-founder Valerie Corral and her husband of forty years, Mike, may result in the loss of WAMM’s lush farm in Santa Cruz. So WAMM announced this week that it is looking to raise $150,000 by July on IndieGogo.com.

One of the oldest non-profit medical marijuana coops in the world faces a new challenge — divorce.  (via WAMM)
  • One of the oldest non-profit medical marijuana coops in the world faces a new challenge — divorce. (via WAMM)
WAMM started in 1993 — three years before California activists passed the first medical marijuana law in America — and dedicated itself to growing and giving away medical cannabis to those needed it most and afford it the least — the impoverished sick and dying. Corral discovered cannabis for seizures in the 1970s, and co-authored the compassionate use act Proposition 215.

In 2002, Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided WAMM, and WAMM successfully sued the feds in response. Since then, they’ve been at the forefront of the return of high-CBD medicine. A landmark new study confirmed this week that high-CBD extracts are a safe, well-tolerated and effective treatment for seizures.

Harvard professor emeritus and author Lester Grinspoon stated in support of WAMM:
"For more than two decades, WAMM has provided the world's best working model of a truly compassionate medical cannabis collective. WAMM has also brought healing, relief and integrative care to thousands of chronically and terminally ill members—many who otherwise could not afford this medicine—while helping pass America's first statewide medical marijuana law. They've even survived a DEA raid, and successfully sued the federal government in response. Please join me in supporting WAMM and Valerie Corral, so this world-class, truly grassroots organization can continue their invaluable work." 

In stark contrast to 2015’s green rush mentality, WAMM wasn’t in it for the money, and after 23 years of service, it's in need some of that charity in return. Donations of as little as $5–$10 will go to payments on the $1.5 million WAMM farm and services for patients. You can also make tax-deductible donations to WAMM via check.

“A divorce changes everything,” Corral told a reporter. “Mike’s moved on. He’s not working with WAMM anymore. I don’t have the money to buy him out and WAMM can’t just stay there.”

The $150,00 won't buy the land, "but it will buy us some time,” Corral said, according to reports. “This is not a failure of WAMM’s social model. ... Maybe WAMM is too dependent on the generosity of Mike and me, but perhaps now is the time that we may see the same generosity from others.”