Pubdate: Mon, 04 Sep 2000
Source: Cannabis Culture Online (Web)
Copyright: 2000, Cannabis Culture, redistributed by MAP by permission
Contact:  Box 15 - 199 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1H4
Fax: (604) 669-9038
Author: Pete Brady
Bookmark: MAP's link to Kubby items:


Libertarian politician and medpot patient Steve Kubby and his wife
Michele are in court in Placer County, California, on trial for
charges arising from a politically motivated pot bust.

Steve Kubby, a cancer survivor and author of an award-winning book
called "The Politics of Consciousness," had just finished a 1998
campaign for governor when 21 police officers burst into his
California mountain home in January, 1999.

After being mistreated in jail, Kubby and his wife found their home
ransacked, their reputation trashed, their money and magazine business
ruined by police.

Instead of giving up or accepting a plea bargain, the Kubbys fought
back. They formed the American Medical Marijuana Association
(, which sponsors media events and legal
challenges to prohibition. They networked with Libertarian Party
supporters, and at this summer's Libertarian national convention,
Steve Kubby narrowly missed being picked as the party's vice
presidential candidate.

"Steve would have been a great choice," said David Nolan, who founded
the Libertarian Party in the United States. "He has great name
recognition, the drug war is the number one symbol of how anti-freedom
our government has become, and he and his wife are a courageous couple
who have sacrificed a lot to make our country a better place."

Kubby's trial has major implications for California, because police
and prosecutors continue to arrest sick and dying people, even if they
have medical recommendations for marijuana. Kubby has been publicly
critical of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Placer County
authorities, and the federal government.

"The novel thing about AMMA's approach is that we are holding
government accountable for its actions, and asking that the will of
the voters be totally respected," Kubby explained. "In our Placer
County case, for example, we will make issue of the fact that Placer
authorities failed to inform citizens that the county government's
interpretation of Prop. 215 differed from the perceptions of voters or
the written statements of government officials who analyzed the
initiative in the 1996 ballot pamphlet."

At Kubby's urging, a Sacramento newspaper did a six month
investigation of Placer County's anti-pot police unit, and found that
officers conducted illegal searches in a number of cases, some of
which were later thrown out due to police misconduct.

"There was also a lot of misconduct in our case," Kubby said. "We are
fortunate to have attorney David Nick, along with Carolyn Hagin, an
associate of veteran pot attorney Tony Serra, as our lawyers, and they
intend to expose what was done to us. We also have a good judge-he's
fair, bright and honest. Prosecutors here are used to cases where
judges are biased in their favor, and where defendants are scared and
broke, willing to plea bargain, unaware of their rights. That's not
how our trial is going to be. I have had cancer all these years, and
marijuana gave me a better life: I have to stand up for it now."

Although the Kubbys were found with more than 200 plants in a
sophisticated basement garden, their lawyers intend to show that the
plants were for personal medical use covered by Prop. 215. They also
intend to attack the credibility of the prosecution's "expert
witness," who is expected to testify about that the Kubbys had too
many plants.

"The problem is, the expert witness they were supposed to call was
fired because of misconduct," Kubby said. "They haven't given us
enough time to examine the credentials of whoever the next expert will
be. Regardless, police officers cannot credibly claim to know what we
intended to use our medicine for. Entire cases have hinged on the
testimony of these so-called experts. I am glad to see defense
attorneys are questioning this practice, and that these witnesses are
being discredited."

Although the Kubbys have won several key early rulings, including a
motion to have court hours limited to four hours per day so that Steve
Kubby's health will not deteriorate further, they are not taking
anything for granted. The judge could dismiss all charges before the
end of August due to police misconduct, Kubby says, or the trial could
last for months.

"The government is wasting its time and the taxpayers' money
prosecuting non-violent marijuana offenders," Kubby said. "My goal is
to win exoneration, regain my health, and then run for state office.
The Libertarian Party's platform says the drug war is THE issue that
will show Americans how bad things have gotten. I would love to be
able to pardon all the non-violent drug offenders and free them from
our prisons. I would love to make sure that Prop. 215 is enforced, and
that California's governor and other elected officials are not
influenced by millions of dollars from prison guards and narcotics
officers' lobbyists. People say we can't make a difference, but I
think we can. Last year, we were torn from our homes, thrown in a cold
jail cell, and left bankrupt. Today, we are filled with faith, hope
and confidence."
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake