Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jan 2001
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Auburn Journal
Contact:  1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


Steve Kubby Says Recall Effort Against Brad Fenocchio To Begin

A recall effort against Placer County District Attorney Brad Fenocchio is 
looming after a deadline set by former Libertarian Party gubernatorial 
candidate Steve Kubby to adopt so-called Oakland guidelines came and went.

Monday was the deadline set by Kubby, who spent four months on trial late 
last year on possession of marijuana-for-sales charges in Placer County. A 
jury eventually deadlocked 11-1 for acquittal, although Kubby was convicted 
of felony possession of a magic mushroom stem and peyote buttons. He'll be 
sentenced Feb. 2.

Kubby held a press conference Dec. 28 in Orange County to demand that 
Fenocchio set standards matching the City of Oakland guidelines for medical 
marijuana use under Proposition 215.

Fenocchio said Tuesday that the Oakland guidelines had not been adopted and 
his office will continue to consider each case as it comes in.

"We don't bend to these forms of threats," he said.

Because the case is still before the courts, Fenocchio declined to comment 
directly on the Kubby challenge. Prosecutors commonly face pressure from 
either the side of the accused or the victim, he said.

"We're going to continue looking at cases on an individual basis," 
Fenocchio said. "This office isn't going to be bought or bullied. It's that 

Kubby helped put Prop. 215 on the statewide ballot in 1996. He has a 
doctor's recommendation to grow and smoke pot to help fight the symptoms of 
a rare form of adrenal cancer. The Oakland guidelines allow patients to 
grow up to 48 mature plants indoors, have a total of 144 plants, and 
possess up to 6 pounds of patient-grown cannabis.

A total of 265 pot plants were seized in a January 1998 raid on Kubby's 
Olympic Valley home. He and his wife, Michele, were both charged with 
possession of marijuana for sale. Michele Kubby also had a doctor's medical 
marijuana recommendation. Hers was for irritable bowel syndrome.

Kubby said at the press conference that he planned to begin the recall 
effort in February - after his sentencing. Fund raising has already begun. 
The American Medical Marijuana Association, which Kubby heads, is asking 
supporters to start pledging money.

Kubby said his immediate goal is to raise $25,000 to train local residents 
and gather 20,000 signatures. A total of 15,550 signatures of registered 
voters are needed to qualify for a recall election in Placer County.

Also onboard is Jay Cavanaugh, a former commissioner of the California 
State Pharmacy Board. He will head the committee to recall Fenocchio.

Kubby said Fenocchio is abusing his power to prosecute when his office 
charges patients "attempting to lawfully assert their rights under the 
Compassionate Use Act." Fenocchio's office is wasting money on expensive 
show trials and opening up the county to more unnecessary expenditures from 
civil suits, Kubby said.

Fenocchio said he has tried to act responsibly by not adopting standards 
that could affect the outcome of other cases. Several counties have 
established standards that allow medical marijuana amounts far below the 
Oakland guidelines, he said.

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued a letter to counties in 
September that provided some of the standards around the state. In Nevada 
County, 10 plants are allowed - but no more than 2 pounds of processed pot 
can be in a patient's possession. In Shasta County, six plants can be grown 
indoors and two outdoors. One-and-a-third pound of processed marijuana is 
acceptable. In Sierra County, six plants are allowed indoors and three 
outdoors. The quantity of processed pot would be "assessed by a physician." 
In Tehama County, the sheriff's department allowed 18 immature or six 
mature plants. Humboldt County allows 10 plants or 2 pounds of processed 
marijuana if the amount is consistent with the medical treatment.

Adding to the uncertainty is the lack of a state standard. An attorney 
general task force's recommendations to set up a registry never moved 
through the Assembly, Fenocchio said. Another difficulty is the federal 
position, he said.

"Regardless of the California law, the federal government considers it an 
illegal substance," he said. And I don't want to compromise effective law 
enforcement - it's not a simple issue and there's no simple solution."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D