Pubdate: Sat, 31 Jan 2004
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Coast Reporter
Author: Nancy Moote
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


Steve Kubby, the Californian marijuana activist who was denied refugee
status in Canada, is fighting for the right to stay in his Sechelt home.

Michele Kubby, Steve's wife, said the couple is using several legal
strategies in an attempt to overturn the refugee board decision.

"This is my husband's life.  We're not going to mess around," she said.

Steve Kubby smokes large quantities of pot - up to an ounce a day - to
control a rare form of adrenal cancer.  His refugee case was based on the
argument that he would die in a U.S. jail if he were denied marijuana.  But
in December refugee judge Paulah Dauns ruled against Kubby.

Dauns concluded Kubby does not face persecution and torture in the U.S.,
although she did agree that marijuana is an effective treatment for his

The Kubby's have accused Dauns of bias because of her involvement with a
Catholic charity that they claim opposes the medical use of marijuana.  They
are asking the Immigration and Refugee Board to overturn the judge's

"We don't have to prove bias.  We only have to show there is the appearance
of bias," said Michele.

The Kubby's are also appealing the refugee board decision in federal court.
That argument is based on a technical issue: whether the possession of a
half a gram of "magic mushroom" the offence for which Kubby was convicted in
California in 2000, is a summary or an indictable offence in Canada.  The
Kubbys argued the Department of Immigration has "trumped up" that crime to
an indictable offence in order to deport them.

"By March 14 we'll file all the paperwork, and the court has 60 to 90 days
to decide whether they will hear our appeal," said Michele.

The court very rarely agrees to hear appeals of refugee board decisions.  In
the meantime, the departure order for the Kubby family to leave Canada has
been stayed.

Michele said Steve has lost weight since the refugee board hearing due to
the worry of impending deportation.  He takes long walks in Cliff Gilker
Park and is avoiding media interviews in order to minimize that stress. 
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