Pubdate: Thu, 14 Dec 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, World News Service
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Auburn - The prosecution in the Steve and Michele Kubby medical marijuana 
trial put one of its key witnesses on the stand Tuesday in an attempt to 
rebut earlier defense testimony on the average yield from an indoor pot grow.

Despite strenuous objections from defense attorneys J. Tony Serra and J. 
David Nick, retired state Department of Justice special agent supervisor 
Mick Mollica was allowed to testify. He said a single marijuana plant, 
grown indoors, could yield about four ounces of high-potency bud.

The Kubbys were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana for sale 
after a January 1999 raid on their Olympic Valley home netted 265 plants.

Depending on the size of the plant, amount of light and other factors, the 
yield would range from three to six ounces, Mollica added.

Earlier in the trial, "Hemp for Health" author Chris Conrad testified as an 
expert witness for the defense on yields. Conrad, who has also served as a 
curator of a museum in Amsterdam devoted to marijuana, said the Kubby yield 
would be about 3.5 pounds.

Mollica was also asked to give his opinion of a 1992 University of 
Mississippi study for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration that 
estimated the average cannabis plant would produce a half ounce of 
marijuana. The study had been used by Conrad as a basis for his estimate of 
the Kubby crop. Taking into account parts of the plants that were not 
smokable, dirt and "assorted trash" found in the evidence bags of pot 
confiscated from the Kubbys, Conrad had told jurors in the Placer County 
Superior Court trial that the indoor grow's yield would be consistent with 
personal use.

Mollica said that he believed the marijuana grown in Mississippi isn't the 
same as the marijuana grown in California because of different growing 

"It's just not possible to have the same yield study for this and the 
plants we chop down in Northern California," Mollica said. "We grow it 
differently here than they do."

California growers use techniques like deflowering tops to get a bigger 
unit, he said.

"Our yields in California are much more," he said.

The Mississippi study used outdoor plantings, but indoor gardens provide an 
"all away better situation for growing," Mollica said.

Mollica said that by controlling the carbon dioxide in the air, indoor 
growers can increase yields. He added that there is less product indoors 
than outdoors because of height limitations and subsequently, less yield.

Mollica was blocked by objections from Serra and Nick from giving testimony 
on the question of whether the Kubby garden was consistent or inconsistent 
with a medical grow. The two defense attorneys had argued before Judge John 
Cosgrove that Mollica had no medical expertise.

Prosecutor Chris Cattran attempted to move his line of questioning toward 
the garden's yield and the amount the Kubbys could smoke, based on 
Mollica's estimate. Again, objections by Serra and Nick to questions on the 
size of joints Mollica had seen were sustained by Cosgrove.

The Kubbys contend that they grew marijuana for their own personal, medical 
use. Both had doctor's recommendations to use marijuana at the time of 
their arrests - Michele Kubby for irritable bowel syndrome, Steve Kubby for 
a rare form of adrenal cancer.
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