Pubdate: Tue, 22 Aug 2000
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Auburn Journal
Contact: Jessica Towhey  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Website: http://www.auburnjournal.com/
Author: Jessica R. Towhey, Journal Staff Writer
Cited: Steve and Michele Kubby: http://www.kubby.com/
Bookmark: MAP's link to over a hundred articles about the Kubby case:
http://www.mapinc.org/kubby.htm

JUDGE OKS POLL OF POT TRIAL JURORS

Acknowledging the charges facing Steven and Michele Kubby are more
substantial than a run-of-the-mill drug case, a judge ruled on Tuesday to
allow attorneys to poll potential jurors on their bias toward marijuana
being used for medicinal purposes.

Defense lawyer J. David Nick argued in an almost empty Auburn courtroom that
emotions run high in a case such as the one against the Kubbys, who face a
total of 19 criminal counts of possession and cultivation of marijuana and
other illicit substances. And the issue of medical marijuana, under which
auspices the Kubbys claim to have grown their 265 plants, brings out what
Nick termed as "violent responses" from both sides of the issue.

"This is the first law since the 1920s that has allowed anyone to lawfully
cultivate and possess marijuana," Nick said of Proposition 215.

But prosecutors objected to Nick's line of reasoning, stating they have
pursued the case against the Kubbys as they would any drug-possession case.

"It has been suggested  and I disagree  that this case is emotionally
charged," said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gene Gini. "For some
maybe, but not for many others."

Superior Court Judge John L. Cosgrove, however, disagreed with the
prosecutors. According to Cosgrove, it would be better for any "deep-seated
bias" held by potential jurors to be discovered by the attorneys prior to
the matter coming to trial.

Jury selection began Tuesday morning with roughly 300 Placer County
residents being asked to fill out questionnaires. Given the lengthy trial
calendar  court is expected to extend into November  five alternate jurors
will be selected.

Additionally, the trial will proceed on a shortened schedule to accommodate
Steven Kubby's medical condition. Kubby suffers from malignant
pheochromocytoma, a rare form of adrenal cancer that causes the amount of
adrenaline in his body to rise to life-threatening levels.

Kubby, who possesses a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana,
produced a letter from Dr. David E. Kim, a Laguna Beach internist, who wrote
that "unusual levels of stress would therefore result in potentially
disabling symptoms" that could lead to acute cerebral hemorrhage, among
other symptoms.

Michele Kubby holds a physician's recommendation for medical marijuana for
irritable bowel syndrome
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake