In California, legalization of medical marijuana, which first took effect in 1996, was spearheaded by local advocacy groups and non-profit organizations hoping for social change and a way to get patients the medication they desperately needed without also getting a criminal record and possibly going to jail.
Today, with medical cannabis being legal, the medical marijuana industry has been much more of a business. It has not only become a business, but it has become a potentially very profitable business with many new investors and entrepreneurs jumping in every year.
Unfortunately, as our Los Angeles medical marijuana cooperative attorneys can explain, some of these clubs and non-profit advocacy groups, which were once a driving force behind the great change and legalization, are now having problems finding funds and are, in fact, finding themselves as bit players in a major game they very much helped create. However, it is not correct to think these organizations have outlived their usefulness, as they were there when there wasn’t any money to be made and are still needed to shape further legalization efforts to truly enhance the lives and opportunities for those patients who very much rely upon medical cannabis.
According to a recent article from East Bay Express, the Women’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) is one of these organizations now in trouble. WAMM was our state’s first and most respected nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of medical cannabis policy.
The organization was founded by a couple married 40 years. As it turns out, that couple is getting divorced, and this divorce may have a devastating effect on the organization they once created together. The reason for the problems is the divorce may result in WAMM losing their lush farm in Santa Cruz, which has been a major part of the organization’s success. Now the organization is fighting to save their farm and has turned to crowd-based funding to raise $150,000 needed to save it, and they must raise the money by July of this year.
WAMM was started three years prior to the signing of Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, which effectively legalized medical marijuana use in the state of California. It was founders of WAMM who helped write Proposition 215 and worked tirelessly to get it passed. In the three years prior to it being passed, they grew marijuana on their farm and donated it to poor people who were gravely ill and in some cases dying, and needed medical marijuana as part of their treatment.
However, what they were doing was illegal, and this was at a time when the federal government did not have the hands-off approach they now use when it comes to enforcing medical marijuana cultivators. The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) raided the farm and attempted to shut them down. In response, the founders sued the DEA in federal court and were successful.
Since these early days, the fact that medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for seizure disorders has been accepted by the majority of the medical community, and it is now taken for granted, despite the fact they were considered dangerous drug dealers at the time of the DEA raids.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
A Mother of Modern Medical Marijuana Calls in a Favor, May 15, 2015, East Bay Express
More Blog Entries:
San Diego’s First Legal Marijuana Dispensary Opens Doors, April 5, 2015, Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Lawyer Blog