Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jul 2001
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2001 The Sacramento Bee
Author:  Wayne Wilson


Medical marijuana activist Steve Kubby said Thursday he will continue 
to fight his misdemeanor drug convictions from Canada rather than 
submit to a 117-day stay in the Placer County jail.

"They forced me to choose between going to jail and participating in 
my own death there or being with my family here," Kubby explained, 
speaking by phone from his new home in Sechelt, British Columbia.

Kubby claims a jail-imposed interruption in his physician-approved 
marijuana cancer therapy would endanger his life.

He defied a court order by not surrendering to jail authorities a 
week ago, but said he doesn't consider himself to be a fugitive from 

"I talked to the probation department yesterday. They have my 
address," he said.

"I'm not going to put my life at risk while this is under appeal, and 
I still haven't had a chance to have an attorney go before the judge 
and argue for a stay of the sentence."

Kubby's case has been referred to the Central California Appellate 
Program for appointment of counsel. Kubby said he fully expects his 
convictions to be overturned on appeal.

Because he failed to appear at the jail Friday, Kubby will be charged 
with violating probation and an arrest warrant request will be filed 
with the court, said Deputy Chief Probation Officer Jennifer Keck.

But that doesn't mean he'll be picked up and returned to the United States.

Although not one of more than half a dozen legal authorities 
consulted could cite specific law, all agreed that extradition of a 
misdemeanant from another country would never happen.

Kubby, 54, a former Libertarian candidate for governor, was arrested 
in January 1999. A pot task force, acting on an anonymous tip, 
searched his Olympic Valley home and found 265 marijuana plants in 
various stages of growth.

Kubby, claiming the crop was strictly medicinal, won dismissal of all 
five marijuana counts after a jury voted 11-1 for acquittal Dec. 21, 

But he was convicted of possessing small quantities of two other 
controlled substances-psilocyn and mescaline -- incidentally turned 
up in the form of a mushroom stem and peyote buttons during the 
search of his home.

Judge John L. Cosgrove granted Kubby's request to have the 
convictions reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, placed him on 
three years probation and ordered that he serve 120 days in jail, 
minus the three he spent incarcerated at the time of his arrest.

His May 11 surrender date was extended to July 20 when jail officials 
told the judge that a pending U.S. Supreme Court ruling on medical 
pot could have a bearing on their treatment of Kubby's unique 
medicinal needs.

When that decision was issued May 14, the high court declared the 
sale or possession of marijuana for medical use illegal.

It became clear to Kubby that the jail would not provide him with the 
pot necessary to treat his disease, a most-often-fatal form of 
adrenal cancer he's been battling for more than 16 years.

When his surrender date arrived Friday, Kubby was in Canada, with his 
wife, Michele, and their two children.

"We're here as business visitors while we build our video production 
company," Kubby said Thursday.

Their legal residence remains in Southern California, where Michele, 
35, intends to launch a campaign for the office of lieutenant 
governor, Kubby said. "She'll be on the ballot in March."

If she's elected, he joked, "She can pardon me when Governor Davis 
leaves the state."
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