Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jan 2006
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Province
Author: Stuart Hunter
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


Lawyer Says U.S. Jail Time Could Kill His Client

There were no token gestures yesterday as sombre medical-marijuana 
crusader Steve Kubby was deported back to California to what his 
lawyer calls a death penalty.

"I don't have any pot on me. I'm not going to break any laws," a 
shaky Kubby said from the departure lounge of Vancouver International 
Airport as he leaned on his wife, Michele, for support. "I'm going to 
have to do the best I can.

"I'm being forced into a medical experiment. This is a very serious 
threat to me. My wife likens it to taking insulin away from a diabetic."

Earlier this week, a Federal Court judge rejected Kubby's final 
appeal to stay in Canada. Michele told court her husband, who is 
stricken with adrenal cancer and has used pot to ease his symptoms 
for nearly 20 years, would die if he returned to California to serve 
out a drug sentence.

Four years ago, Kubby was handed a 120-day sentence in Placer County, 
near Sacramento, for possession of peyote and a magic-mushroom stem. 
He was told he could serve it under house arrest, but instead the 
family fled north to Canada in 2001.

He claimed refugee status, arguing he'd be persecuted and his life 
would be at risk if he was sent back. The Immigration and Refugee 
Board ruled in 2003 that Kubby's life wasn't at risk.

Kubby's U.S. lawyer, Bill McPike, said his client will likely be 
arrested when he appears at Placer County courthouse on Tuesday.

"Officials in Canada might be sending him back to a death sentence," 
McPike said, adding that he hoped U.S. officials won't try to make an 
example of Kubby.

McPike called Kubby a "political prisoner" who probably won't have 
access to pot in a U.S. jail and whose health will suffer. He was 
uncertain whether Kubby would face additional charges for fleeing the country.

Michele, who has also been ordered deported, was granted a week-long 
extension to move herself and children Brook, 9, and Crystal, 6, from 
their home near Kamloops. She hinted the family could return to Canada.

"I'm going to stick by his side," Michele said. "He has to take care 
of his problems. We could come back."
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