Pubdate: Wed, 16 Apr 2003
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- An Oregon official overseeing the state's 
medical marijuana program has told a refugee hearing that her program 
couldn't protect a pot user from U.S. drug laws.

Mary Leverette testified by telephone Wednesday for Immigration Canada in a 
refugee claim by Steve Kubby, formerly of Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Leverette said if a medical user is found with more than one ounce of 
marijuana, he or she could be arrested and charged.

Kubby, 56, says he needs far more than that to treat his rare adrenal cancer.

One ounce would last him two days, Kubby says. Without the pot, Kubby says 
he could be facing a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure within 24 hours.

Kubby, a medical marijuana advocate who ran for governor of California as a 
Libertarian in 1998, contends he's being persecuted in the United States 
because of his medical pot use and is seeking permission to remain in 
Canada as a refugee.

He was convicted in December 2000 in California of two drug possession 
charges and sentenced to four months in prison. He and his family fled to 
Sechelt on British Columbia's southern coast after the sentence was handed 

Kubby was arrested in Canada on an immigration warrant in April 2002 and 
subsequently applied for political refugee status.

He has received a Canadian permit allowing him to grow 59 marijuana plants 
at a time for medical use, store up to 2,655 grams of the drug and travel 
within Canada carrying up to 360 grams.

A parade of witnesses on his behalf testified that despite a California law 
sanctioning medical use of marijuana, pot users still face arrest and 
imprisonment because federal authorities don't recognize the state law and 
drug enforcement officers ignore it.

The hearing was to wrap up Thursday, with a decision on Kubby's claim 
expected by fall.
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