Pubdate: Tue, 29 August 2000
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Orange County Register
Contact:  P.O. Box 11626, Santa Ana, CA 92711
Fax: (714) 565-3657
Bookmark: MAP's link to Kubby items:

Kubby Trial Begins

The trial of former gubernatorial candidate (and part-time Orange County
resident) Steve Kubby and his wife Michele on 19 criminal counts of
possession, cultivation, sale and possession for sale of marijuana begins in
earnest today before Superior Court Judge John L. Cosgrove in Auburn, in
Placer County. The Kubbys both have notes from doctors recommending that
they use marijuana for medical conditions, but the case revolving around 265
plants found at their former home near Lake Tahoe is being prosecuted like a
standard drug trafficking case.

Prosecutors contend that the only explanation for growing that many plants
is that the couple was growing to sell and will try to prevent discussion of
Proposition 215, which authorizes the medical use of marijuana, or the
couple's medical conditions. Defense Attorney J. David Nick says this is the
most massive, concerted prosecution he has seen in California and that
prosecutors around the state are waiting to see what happens in this case.
The impact on official treatment of those who claim their use of marijuana
is medical, four years of inconsistent implementation after California
voters authorized such use, could be profound.

Steve Kubby told us that he believes Judge Cosgrove will be fair and allow
all aspects of the case to be aired. Judge Cosgrove declined to dismiss the
charges outright on grounds that the search warrant was faulty; he allowed
defense attorneys to question prospective jurors about their attitudes
toward the medical use of marijuana. He also authorized an abbreviated trial
schedule because of Mr. Kubby's medical condition.

The Kubbys are urging other patients to attend opening arguments tomorrow by
the prosecution and famed San Francisco attorney Tony Serra, for the
defense. The trial will continue next week, be in recess for almost a month
and resume in October. The Register will provide periodic updates.
The Kubbys claim they were growing marijuana only for their own medical
needs, as authorized by California voters. The prosecution claims they were
hiding behind the law to cover their drug dealing.

Since the voters made Proposition 215 into Section 11362.5 of the Health and
Safety Code, implementation has been spotty and unpredictable. Some
localities seem eager to cooperate with patients while others prefer to
arrest them and "let the courts sort it out." The disposition of this
therefore, could affect how other localities treat medical marijuana
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake