Pubdate: Mon, 5 Mar 2001
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 2001 The Orange County Register
Contact:  P.O. Box 11626, Santa Ana, CA 92711
Fax: (714) 565-3657


Part-time Orange County resident Steve Kubby and his wife Michele have
won as close to complete vindication as possible under the
circumstances in their medical marijuana case in Placer County. On
Friday Judge John Cosgrove reduced the two counts on which Mr. Kubby
had been convicted from felonies to misdemeanors and dismissed the
case. Judge Cosgrove also dismissed the case, as well as the separate
case brought against Michael Baldwin, an Auburn dentist who is a
medical marijuana patient.

The prosecution does not plan to refile charges.

The Kubbys, you may remember, both of whom have recommendations from
licensed physicians to use marijuana medically, had their rented home
near Lake Tahoe raided in January 1999 by a federal-state-local
anti-drug task force. They were jailed for several days and charged
with multiple counts of cultivation for sale, possession for sale and
drug selling. In December the jury was "hung," with 11 jurors for
acquittal on the most serious charges.

Mr. Kubby was convicted for possession of a small amount of peyote
(found in a guest room) and psilocybin mushrooms (which he said he
used to illustrate points during lectures). The prosecution wanted
those convictions to be sentenced as felonies, with jail time imposed.
Judge Cosgrove viewed them as misdemeanors and imposed probation,
which the couple plan to serve in San Francisco.

One could argue that probation is too intrusive given the facts of the
case. But a jail sentence in which he was forbidden to use cannabis
therapeutically, as Steve Kubby's former doctor, Vincent DeQuattro of
the USC Medical School testified during the trial, would have amounted
to a death sentence.

The disposition of this case should send a clear message to police and
prosecutors throughout the state. California juries are unlikely to
bring convictions against credible medical patients who are using
cannabis. It's time for law enforcement and cannabis patients to work
together, as they have in some localities, to develop the small "white
market" for medical marijuana that voters anticipated when they
approved Prop. 215 in 1996.

Mr. Kubby's supporters plan a recall campaign against the Placer
County district attorney. Medical marijuana activists have already
filed a recall petition against the district attorney in Marin County.

The Kubbys plan to work in San Francisco for the near future, doing
their TV show (online at and perhaps writing a book.
"Our goal is to give a voice and encouragement to thousands of people
who have been frightened and intimidated by the inconsistent way the
will of the voters has been applied," Steve Kubby told us.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake