On August 28, 2010, the new Santa Cruz County chapter of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) held a fundraiser at the Trout Farm Inn on E. Zayante Rd. in Felton, CA. It was the local chapter’s first public event. Americans for Safe Access, based in Oakland, is the largest member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens working to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic uses and research. ASA works in partnership with state, local and national legislators to create policies that improve access to medicinal marijuana for both patients and researchers. ASA claims to have over 30,000 active members with chapters and affiliates in more than 40 states. Gail, a member of the Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) who was born with glaucoma and is blind, was grateful for the opportunity to meet and socialize with others who benefit, physically and mentally, from cannabis. As an eighteen year old student at UC Santa Cruz, Gail was passed a joint for the first time. That is when she discovered that marijuana eases the pain she experiences from glaucoma. Numerous prizes were raffled off throughout the evening and into the night. After having their doctor’s recommendation for the use of marijuana per California prop 215 scanned, people were allowed to make donations for raffles tickets in hopes of winning handmade pipes, cannabis seeds, a vaporizer and cannabis infused ice cream. However the most desired prizes seemed to be certificates redeemable at Greenway Compassionate Relief for cannabis plants, a joint, 1/8, 1/2oz and ounce. There were also raffle tickets for prizes that were not medicinal. The fundraiser featured Dr. Deborah Malka, a family medical practitioner and mental and physical wellness counselor based in Santa Cruz. After getting inspired by the WAMM collective in 2006, Dr. Malka chose to use her background and skills to help people learn about the safe effective use of medical marijuana. – Crossposted at Indybay.org.