It is a documentary about "an acquaintance with suffering."
That's the self-description offered for the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the subject of a new independent film, La Vie En Verte.
The marijuana-growing collective, founded in Santa Cruz after the passage of the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law, catered to severely ill medical pot users, including dying AIDS and cancer patients.
But in 2002, heavily-armed Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided the farm, rousting staff and patients and cutting down the crop. The collective, known as WAMM, sued the federal government.
In January, the U.S. Justice Department settled the suit. It assured WAMM and operators Valerie and Mike Corral that they could continue their work growing marijuana and helping terminal patients and others in their care.
The new documentary, shot over four years in Santa Cruz, tells the story. La Vie en Verte was funded by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, a group that advocates marijuana's development as a prescription therapeutic medicine.
The movie, shown recently at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, is co-produced by Charlie Hall and Bevin Bell-Hall. Charlie is an anthropology graduate of UC Santa Cruz. Bevin is a Santa Cruz grad in film and digital media. She will appear in "Reefer Madness," an April 2-May 2 stage production at the Artistic Differences Theatre Company in Sacramento.
With permission of the producers, here is the trailer for La Vie en Verte: