Pubdate: Fri, 13 Oct 2000
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Sacramento Bee
Contact:  P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento CA 95852
Author: Wayne Wilson, Bee Staff Writer


Jurors watched solemnly and Michele Kubby wept quietly Thursday as the 
prosecution showed a videotape of the 1999 raid that resulted in the arrest 
of Kubby and her husband on drug charges.

The Kubbys, staunch advocates of the medicinal use of marijuana, were 
growing pot in the lower level of their three-level home in Olympic Valley 
when members of the North Lake Tahoe Drug Enforcement Task Force knocked on 
their door and served a search warrant at 9:44 a.m. on Jan. 19 of last year.

Michele Kubby, 34, answered the door and led the officers upstairs to the 
master bedroom, where a shirtless Steve Kubby, 53, the Libertarian Party's 
1998 candidate for governor, accepted the warrant and finished dressing 
while Michele rounded up their young daughter.

The Kubbys are on trial in Placer County Superior Court on charges of 
conspiracy, possession for sale and cultivation of marijuana.

Steve Kubby says a conviction and prison term would be tantamount to a 
death sentence because in prison he would be deprived of the drug that he 
claims has kept him alive for many years in the face of a malignant cancer.

Prosecutors have rejected the Kubbys' claims that they were growing the 
marijuana for medical reasons, declaring in pretrial motions that "neither 
defendant was seriously ill, as defined by the statute, at the time the 
marijuana was found in their rented home."

The videotape documents the discovery of 265 plants, many of them in a very 
early stage of development, being nurtured by lights, timers, fans and 
water in several rooms on the lower level of the Kubby home.

Shown on the stairway wall were posters -- one of them headlined "ATTENTION 
LAW ENFORCEMENT" and bordered in red -- suggesting the gardens comply with 
provisions of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act passed by 
California voters in 1996.

Undeterred, an officer begins pulling the plants from their pots, roots and 
all, and stuffing them in large paper bags.

Based on the videotape timer, it takes 49 minutes to bag the mature plants, 
but just three or four minutes to pluck 77 2-inch sprouts from trays found 
in a bathroom shower.

Michele Kubby said her viewing of the videotape brought back feelings of 
the moment when "an army of policemen armed with laser-sighted guns invaded 
the privacy of my home with my husband and little girl there."

The trial will resume on Tuesday.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart