Source: Tahoe World (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Tahoe World
Pubdate: Thu, 11 Feb 1999
Page: Front Page with color photo of Steve and Michele
Contact:  (530) 583-7109
Mail:  P.O. Box 138, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Author: Patrick McCartney


Former Libertarian candidate Steve Kubby's marijuana cultivation case will
be presented to a criminal grand jury, a Placer County prosecutor confirmed

The grand jury hearing is set for Feb. 17. 

With the decision, the District Attorney's Office will withdraw the
existing indictment of marijuana cultivation and possession for sale
against Kubby and his wife Michele. 

The Kubbys were arrested Jan. 19 at their Olympic Valley home by the
multi-agency North Tahoe Task Force, which seized 265 plants growing in
four rooms. 

Kubby, 52, openly espoused the use of medical marijuana for his adrenal
cancer during a 1998 campaign for governor. He was instrumental in
qualifying California's successful Proposition 215 in 1996, which allows
the use of marijuana with a physician's approval. 

Christopher Cattran, a Placer County deputy district attorney, said
criminal grand juries are often used by the county's prosecutors. 

"We view the grand jury as a body of independent people who will
impartially review all the evidence and render a fair decision," Cattran
said. "It's not unusual, especially in Placer County, for us to go in front
of a grand jury." 

Dale Wood, a Truckee attorney representing the Kubbys, said the decision
would deprive Kubby of a public hearing of his case. 

Grand jury proceedings are secret and the transcript is usually sealed. In
addition, defendants are not allowed to be represented by counsel in the
proceedings, which serves as an alternative for preliminary hearings by a
magistrate in court. 

Wood called the grand jury hearing an "archaic" procedure, and said he has
advised the Kubbys not to attend. 

The Placer County District Attorney's Office also sought a grand jury
hearing for another recent medical marijuana case involving Rocklin dentist
Michael Baldwin and his wife Georgia. 

Their case is pending. 
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