Pubdate: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
Source: Tahoe World (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Tahoe World
Contact:  P.O. Box 138, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Fax: (530) 583-7109
Author: Gus Thomson, Auburn Journal
Bookmark: For Kubby news items:


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

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

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.
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