93-year-old Aurora Leveroni is an extraordinarily spry and robust woman who became a cannabis activist after daughter, Valerie was involved in a freak car accident while driving across the Nevada desert.

A small plane swooped low and scraped the roof of Valerie’s car, causing it to skid, roll and bounce 365 feet through the dust, brush and rocks. Valerie incurred severe brain damage and epilepsy from the accident. She was treated with heavy medications but these didn’t stop her grand mal epileptic seizures and other painful symptoms.

Valerie’s husband had read about the medicinal properties of cannabis and recommended that Valerie try it – and it did alleviate her symptoms. This spurred them to begin growing the medicinal herb, which eventually led to their arrest, in 1992 – and to the beginning of Valerie’s cannabis activism. In 1993, she founded the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), which has been instrumental in the legalization of Medical Marijuana in the State of California. This is part of a sea change that’s having a significant impact throughout the country, as more states continue to buck Federal Law and legalize the medical – and more recently – the recreational use of cannabis.

Aurora (aka “Nonna Marijuana”) does not consume marijuana herself but out of her love and concern for her daughter and as a witness of the effectiveness of cannabis in treating Valerie’s severe symptoms, this has led to her incorporate the herb into her formidable repertoire of fabulous classic Italian cuisine, as seen here, in an episode of the cannabis cooking show, ‘Munchies’.

We also get to see the family’s plantation in Northern California, with 20 varieties of cannabis, along with a delicious demonstration of juicing raw cannabis leaves for the non-psychoactive, powerful anti-inflammatory effects of uncooked, THC-a rich fresh cannabis.

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Alexandra Bruce

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