Pubdate: Wed, 08 Mar 2006
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Page: B2
Copyright: 2006 The Sacramento Bee
Note: Does not publish letters from outside its circulation area.
Authors: Herbert A. Sample and Art Campos, Bee Staff Writers
Cited: Steve Kubby
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


SAN FRANCISCO - Steven Wynn Kubby, the medical marijuana advocate who
on Monday night was released from Placer County jail, thanked this
city's Board of Supervisors for supporting him and afterward gushed
about how he and Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner bonded.

"I'm glad to be alive," Kubby told reporters after appearing before
the supervisors Tuesday.

Bonner "told me that law enforcement has to change because society is
changing," Kubby added. "Then he told me they were going to release me
but first he was going to go to the Placer County district attorney
and ask him to quote, unquote, bury the hatchet."

Kubby, who suffers from inoperable and terminal adrenal cancer, was
released from jail after serving a third of a 120-day sentence for a
2000 drug conviction.

Placer County Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy said Kubby was one of 47
inmates released from the jail since Feb. 28 because a court order
prohibits overcrowding.

"We have roughly 600 beds for prisoners and it is a constant balancing
act of bringing in fresh arrests and releasing people who have
followed all the jail rules and gotten credit for good behavior and
for time served," said D'Arcy.

In January, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution
supporting Kubby after he was arrested at San Francisco International
Airport upon his return from Canada, where he had fled. He was
eventually deported to face his sentence.

On Tuesday, Kubby thanked the supervisors and told them that in the
day or so after his airport arrest, he suffered from severe
complications because he was not allowed to use marijuana. He instead
was administered Marinol, a legal medication that contains synthesized
THC, a substance in marijuana. Marinol helped control his blood
pressure, which spikes from cancer cells producing too much
adrenaline, Kubby told reporters later.

His experience with Marinol, he asserted, established that medical
marijuana can help seriously ill people.

"What we saw and what we proved in the jail (was) that when you get a
steady supply of the THC, it drives down the production of dopamine,"
which in turn reduces dangerously high blood pressure, Kubby said.

He noted that while he was barely able to tolerate Marinol even as it
caused him to lose weight, some people cannot use it.

"What if I had to go another 40 days and I lost another 25 pounds?" he
said, showing reporters the loose pants he was wearing that he said
fit him perfectly before his stint in jail.

But D'Arcy said Kubby's claim of serious weight loss was fictitious.
"The facts are that he came into our jail at 183 pounds and he left at
179," D'Arcy said. "Those reports of losing 25 pounds are

In an interview, Bonner said he received some political pressure to
keep Kubby in jail. But after talking to Capt. John Fitzgerald at the
jail, Bonner was told that Kubby qualified for early release because
of good-time credits and work time, he said.

"John said he was a model prisoner," Bonner said. "I said to John,
'What would we do if (Kubby) was anybody else in our jail?' John said,
'He'd get early release.' That was it as far as I was concerned."

Bonner met with Kubby at the jail Friday to let him know he was being
considered for early release. "He'd written us a letter thanking us
for our professionalism at the jail," Bonner said. "And I wanted to
say thanks for behaving and for the nice comments in the letter. We
wanted him to go off and have a good life after he gets out."

Kubby, who said he is again using pot for his illness, is to return to
a Placer courtroom on March 14 to face charges he violated probation
in 2001. 
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