Pubdate: Wed, 15 Nov 2000
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Gus Thomson, staff writer
Bookmark: Kubby Trial:


AUBURN, Calif. - An expert witness for the defense testified Tuesday in the
Placer County Superior Court trial of Steve and Michele Kubby that the
amount of pot found at their Olympic Valley home was consistent with
growing the plants for personal use.

Chris Conrad, author of "Hemp for Health" and former curator of a museum in
Amsterdam devoted to marijuana, told jurors he personally examined
marijuana plants confiscated from the Kubby home after a January 1999
search. He estimated the potential harvest would have been much less than
law enforcement's estimated 25 pounds of marketable pot. A total of 265
plants were discovered in the raid.

"We're probably looking at three and a half pounds," Conrad said.

Conrad cited a federally sanctioned study at the University of Mississippi
that estimated the average cannabis plant would produce a half ounce of
marijuana. Called as an expert witness on cannabis cultivation, yield and
intent to distribute, Conrad said the yield could be bumped to
three-quarters of an ounce, when other studies are taken into account.

Conrad said his estimate also discounted 25 percent of the weight of the
confiscated pot to take into account roots, dirt and "assorted trash" he
saw in the evidence bags. And only 28 percent of the harvested pot would be
high-potency bud, he said.

Asked by Michele Kubby's defense attorney J. David Nick if the 3.5-pound
estimate would be consistent with personal medical use, Conrad said it
would be sufficient for one person, "perhaps two." He added that he knew of
one medical marijuana user who used 12 pounds of pot a year.

Nick also queried Conrad on whether he believed the Kubby crop could be
deemed "possession for sale."

"No," replied Conrad, saying he believed the marijuana would be for
personal consumption. He was also asked if it was "scientifically
impossible" to get a 25-pound harvest from the Kubby grow room. He said it
would be impossible.

Conrad also delved into his self-described "strong friendship" with Kubby,
a pro-marijuana advocate who was the Libertarian Party gubernatorial
candidate in 1998.

The two worked together in 1996 during the successful campaign to pass
Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative.

Conrad testified about Kubby's personal pot-smoking, which he had witnessed
firsthand. Saying he had smoked marijuana with Kubby, then correcting
himself to say he had watched Kubby smoke, Conrad said the accused would
produce well-formed, cigarette-shaped joints that were larger than normal,
containing about a gram of pot. Unlike for-profit growers, Kubby would
smoke about two-thirds of the joint and then discard it, because of studies
that showed carcinogens collect at the roach end of the cigarette, he said.
Sellers wouldn't waste part of their profits, Conrad said.

Kubby, 53, has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He has a doctor's
recommendation to treat it with marijuana. Michele Kubby, 34, at one time
was using pot to fight the effects of a bowel ailment. Dr. Charles
Kellermyer, a Truckee physician who issued medical pot recommendations in
1998 and 1999 to Steve Kubby, testified that marijuana appeared to be an
effective treatment for his patient's cancer.

"Steve appeared asymptomatic," Kellermyer said. "I don't know why."

Kubby first came to him the morning after Prop. 215 passed, the doctor

"I said we should wait until it becomes law," he said.

Kellermyer also saw Michele Kubby in 1998 about her irritable bowel
syndrome. He said that he ordered more tests and recommended more fiber in
her diet.

Jurors were told by Cosgrove that the trial will now stretch into early
December. The case initially was to have gone to the jury today.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Eric Ernst