My name is Jean Hanamoto. I've been the artist/photographer for the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in Santa Cruz, CA for 5 years, and was at the blockade when the DEA cut down our beautiful garden on Sept. 5. We are not without problems in California, but we have the local law enforcement and the Santa Cruz City Council on our side.


If any group can reverse these laws, it will be WAMM and Valerie Corral. We've done things right, have all our paperwork, and love each other enough to get through this. We will eventually take this to the US Supreme court to try to get marijuana off schedule 1 for patients all over the US. The DEA picked the wrong target this time. Grrrrr!


When our local police came to where our WAMM members were at the gate to the garden, it was because the DEA called them saying they couldn't get out - Oh, NO, sick people are blocking our way! Since they never bothered to let any local law enforcement know this was going to happen, our Sheriff was miffed. Said he would NOT disperse the crowd, but did help us get a phone call through to our founder Valerie Corral, still in San Jose in a holding cell. We told them to let Val go, and we'll let the DEA off the property. We were willing to lay (lie?) down in the road for her. Over the phone, Val asked us to let the DEA through the gate and not to do anything to get ourselves hurt. She told us that if we opened the gate, she'd be let go and the DEA would let her and Mike come home. They dropped them off in Davenport and wouldn't go all the way up to the farm 'cause we're such scary invalids! HA!


Making medical Marijuana acceptable has become my goal in life. As an artist, wife, web master, and care giver to my wonderful husband, George, I've found something to passionately defend. George has Glaucoma, and is legal in California to use marijuana to save his sight. It also does wonders for his blood pressure, and helps greatly with arthritis pain. We are very active members of WAMM and help support about 250 people with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, MS, Epilepsy - free of cost - from WAMMs organic garden. We all contribute what we're able to the growing, cleaning, and packaging of our medicine, and patients (each with certified doctor's recommendations) are given a set amount each week. There's also a lot of love and caring. It's not a buyer's club, it's a co-op. We run on donations only. We're now seeing the group used as a templet for how to run a compassionate medical marijuana organization.


WAMM was started by Valerie & Michael Corral after they did some of their own research to help Val with her epileptic seizures. They both had friends with AIDS and cancer that had been helped by using marijuana, and they found it to be powerful medicine - useful in many situations. Valerie decided that she would start a small collective to provide organic medical marijuana for herself and those of her friends that could benefit from it, but she didn't want money mixed with her compassion. The garden came first, with the help of all the members that could manage. All patients were co-owners, and had a share in the harvest. Everyone that could worked to grow and care for the plants, and after the harvest, they packaged and stored a year's worth of marijuana so that all the members had enough until the next harvest. Loving friends served as care-givers for those who needed the medicine, but were unable to help because of their illnesses. Except for voluntary donations, which we encourage mightily, our medical marijuana is free to all our members.


Everything from my life came together for this art I'm doing now - my husband's health, my love of photography, but my inability to get the results I wanted with just a camera, my love affair with my Macintosh , and my watercolor background. I need all of my experience with painting and color to do what I'm doing now. I'm making prints surprisingly similar to my watercolor, and my work is being accepted in some interesting places. :D). "Emerging Fan Leaf", a digital painting, won a first place at last years Santa Clara County Fair, and "The Sink in WAMMs Garden" won a place at the California State Fair this year. I'm also doing people for the first time, having never been able to do that with paint & brush. Some of my work is stark (my friend, Kathy, smokes with both terribly arthritic hands around a water pipe), but it's touching and beautiful, too.


George was appointed garden coordinator by WAMMs board of directors, so for the last two years he has spent many days in Santa Cruz. With the garden gone this year, he helps individuals with their small plots, going from garden to garden with advice and love. It's been a wonderful experience knowing these people, even if we loose them far too often. That's where my photography is the most important. I have some portraits on my page now under "New Art", but I've got a zillion more pictures to go. Hope you'll look.


Sincerely;
Jean Hanamoto
Jean's Artworks
Morgan Hill, CA 95037
(408) 776-8664
artworks@garlic.com
Please visit my home page (Marijuana Art):
http://www.marijuana-art.com
My old watercolor home page is here (Still Pretty!)
http://www.garlic.com/~artworks/ArtNGarlic/
WAMM Web site:
Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana: http://www.wamm.org
I'm on DVD!
Program Power Entertainment: http://www.programpower.com/cultweb/



more from Jean...

You can certainly post my letter and I hope I can send you some good news, too. The Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, along with the city of Santa Cruz, is preparing a suit against the federal government. We're one of many California citizens with in-the-works legal action. We're in it for the long haul!


Sending you a picture of my friend Kathy Treadway. (See Attached File for picture of Kathy) She was our willing poster girl until her death a month ago from heart failure. We miss her boundless spirit. She symbolizes WAMM to me. Thanks again.
Jean

" Yeah! Take my medicine away!"



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Marijuana is medicine. It's time to stop treating patients like criminals. Please donate to the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz, CA, a legal organization growing free medical marijuana for 250 very sick people and working for sanity in the drug wars.
(831) 423-5413 309 Cedar St. #39, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 http://www.wamm.org/