Pubdate: Fri, 18 Apr 2003
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Contact:  2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Andrea Sands, City Hall Bureau
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


A cancer patient and U.S. citizen who sparked controversy by making a
refugee claim so he can smoke medical marijuana has undergone experimental
treatment in Edmonton. 

And Steve Kubby, 56, told The Sun yesterday he might soon be back for
another round of treatment aimed at wiping out his adrenal cancer. For now,
he said, weed works best. 

"I was probably nauseous for a week and there were other side-effects," he
said. "But I want to also say, I've been to a lot of hospitals. I thought
that the level of patient care at the Edmonton (Cross) Cancer centre was

The Cross Cancer Institute is the western referral centre for the type of
treatment Kubby said he's received. The treatment is available only in
Edmonton and London, Ont., said Alberta Cancer Board spokesman Trish

Kubby - wanted in the United States on drug charges - brought his wife and
two young daughters to Canada, where he was granted a federal exemption last
summer that lets him smoke and grow marijuana for his rare form of cancer. 

The family lives in Sechelt, B.C. 

Filevich couldn't tell The Sun if the Cross Cancer Institute will allow
Kubby to smoke marijuana there. But Kubby's wife, Michele, said he did smoke
during a four-day stay at the institute in December. 

Kubby smokes about 12 grams of pot per day. 

He's now claiming Canada should grant him refugee status because he'll be
persecuted for his medicinal pot use in the United States, where all
marijuana use is outlawed. 

Kubby said yesterday he was diagnosed with a form of cancer in the 1970s
that should have killed him years ago by sending out fatally high shots of

But he insists he survived because he stumbled across marijuana. 

"A doctor testified in my (hearing) that if I had to go 48 hours without
cannabis, I'm very likely to have a heart attack, a stroke or kidney failure
because of these spikes." 

Kubby is awaiting an Immigration and Refugee Board ruling after testimony
wrapped up this week at his Vancouver hearing. Board spokesman Melissa
Anderson told The Sun only one U.S. citizen has ever been granted refugee
status in Canada. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokesman Janis Fergusson said from
Vancouver yesterday her department took the unusual step of intervening in
Kubby's hearing and arguing against his refugee claim. 

"Essentially, we feel that Mr. Kubby doesn't fit the definition of a
conventional refugee ... because he's making a claim based on his need for
medicinal marijuana," Fergusson said. 

And B.C. Canadian Alliance MP Randy White won another unusual application:
to have Kubby's hearing opened to the public. White said in a news release
Kubby is fleeing prosecution, not persecution. 

"If the Kubby case is successful, how many of the 30,000 medical marijuana
users in the state of California alone will we see at our border?"
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