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Medicinal Compound

California's CAMPAIGN AGAINST MARIJUANA PLANTING recently announced that, as of July, it had already seized 66,000 plants and 30 weapons, eradicated 30 gardens and made 14 arrests in the 2004 season. CAMP also mentioned that in 21 years of existence, it's eradicated $14 billion worth of pot, which equals about 3.5 million plants.

"I guess they'll be calling it 'compassionate plant bashing' next," commented WO/MEN'S ALLIANCE FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA co-founder VALERIE CORRAL. That said, Corral credits Sheriff MARK TRACY for having "really pulled in the reins on the local CAMP effort, at least, inasmuch as its harmfulness on medical marijuana patients."

Which explains why, even as CAMP was busy destroying truckloads of green stuff, WAMM was busy replanting its Santa Cruz-based medical marijuana garden, which, as will probably be remembered forever in the Cruz, was chain-sawed to the ground two years ago by machine-gun-toting DEA agents at the behest of Attorney General JOHN ASHCROFT.

Asked if she was afraid the DEA would raid WAMM's garden again, Corral pointed out that the decision to replant was made this April after San Jose Judge JEREMY FOGEL reversed an earlier decision and decreed an injunction against Ashcroft and the DEA.

"I've heard that Ashcroft doesn't care about what the lower courts say, but I'm not afraid of them," said Corral. "And if he does order a raid, he'd be in violation of a court order."

She said, however, that many doctors are still afraid to recommend marijuana for medicinal purposes, even though an August ruling of the California SUPREME COURT upheld the privacy of patient records.

"A great number of doctors are recoiling in fear from the Supreme Court's protection," said Corral, "either because they don't understand legalese or they don't believe this administration won't retaliate."

She hopes that the November's election will bring the world out of what she calls the Bush administration's "demonic grasp."

Until then, she invites y'all to come to the WAMMFEST, which is a "pot-free" family event, with music, speakers, entertainment, food, crafts and information booths--and just happens to be taking place on Sept. 5, which is the exact same day the DEA raided WAMM's garden two years ago. Corral says WAMM members have been making things from gourds and lavender grown in the WAMM garden, as well as pillows and satchels.

"But we won't be selling bongs," she said. "Not after they put TOMMY CHONG behind bars."

WAMMFEST takes place Sunday, Sept. 5, 10am-5pm, at San Lorenzo Park. Call 831.425.0580 0r 408.893.5201 for information.


With the first evah SANTA CRUZ ARTIST TOUR set to kick off at the CIVIC AUDITORIUM, Sept. 4, organizer ANDREW DiMARTINO says he's feeling happy and excited--in a bridegroom kinda way.

"I feel like I'm just about to throw a very large wedding, a wedding that will go on for the next two months," says DiMartino, who came up with the SCAT idea as a cheap and artist-friendly nonjuried alternative to OPEN STUDIOS.

As DiMartino points out, Open Studios is juried and has a $200 entry fee and a limit on how many artists it can accept, and requires artists to have a studio to show from.

"These requirements have led to a lot of disappointments for local artists in the past," he says, stressing that SCAT is not about attacking Open Studios and noting that some artists are featured in both shows.

That said, DiMartino is definitely proud to have pulled off a two-month tour in which the 80 artists who entered only had to pay $40--a flat-fee rate to cover advertising, brochures and the opening night, LABOR DAY weekend reception at the Civic, in which they are featured.

"And admission is free to the public, as are the brochures. The only money that will be made on this tour is by the artists from selling their art," says DiMartino, who is proud of and grateful to all the people and companies that made this all possible by giving him deals, including PALACE ARTS, LENZ and the phenomenal JIMBO PHILLIPS, who did the posters and apparently agreed to get paid by poster sales alone.

As for the rest of the tour, DiMartino says most of the artists have their own studios, or will be showing from their homes, with six showcased in space provided for them by MICHAELANGELO STUDIOS.

If you missed the deadline for getting into this year's show, take heart. Starting next May, DiMartino is planning SCAT monthly events, with tattoo artists featured one month, potters another and watercolor artists the next.

"Everyone will have an opportunity to show their art," says DiMartino, who can be contacted at 831.427.3888.

Live From New York

Santa Cruz residents and perennial rabble-rousers PEGGY BROOKS, SHARON DELGADO, MATHILDE RAND and RUTH HUNTER sent Nüz the following email about their participation in Sunday's nonviolent anti-BUSH march in the Big Apple, which was organized by UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE and numbered about 500,000 protesters, according to UPJ and the NYPD.

"What a march! Hour after hour, hundreds of thousands of peaceful marchers, snail-paced, moved past MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, future site of the REPUBLICAN CONVENTION. Only workers inside were there, busily preparing for Republican delegates, speakers and the Bush administration. As we marched past the hotel facing Madison Square Garden, we noticed a few delegates shaded by the hotel marquee. Above, amidst flower boxes of geraniums, the hotel staff had gathered, giving us the victory sign. Another moving moment as we reached the end of the march--a harmonica singer pulled out another new one and offered it to a young policewoman standing on guard against mischief. When she refused, the crowd began to chant, 'Take it, take it.' After a confused look, she did just that, to the delight of those around. A human gesture in a sea of blue uniforms. Imagine almost six hours of marchers, most carrying banners that were caustic, cynical at the Bush administration. That was the down part. Other banners were funny, creative, and very poignant, carried by an amazingly diverse mass of people. Rarely was the name of the democratic candidate spouted. Somewhere in the midst of this mass of bodies, moving slowly down SEVENTH AVENUE, a group passed carrying a facsimile of hundreds of coffins, draped in the American flag--a quiet moment remembering our men and women who died so far from home."

Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

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From the September 1-8, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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