Pubdate: Mon, 15 Feb 1999
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center
Author: BECKY BARTINDALE, Mercury News Staff Writer


Arrest: Kubby says marijuana was used only for medicinal purposes.

Locked arm-in-arm, Steve and Michelle Kubby told an appreciative Sunday
evening crowd in San Jose about how their surveillance and arrest for
growing medicinal marijuana in their basement has changed their lives.

Ironically, the Libertarian candidate in last year's governor's race may end
up attracting more attention for his arrest in Olympic Valley last month
than he did during his campaign.

The Kubbys, who publish an online magazine, were among a handful of
prominent speakers over four days at the Libertarian Party's 1999 state
convention, which ends today at the San Jose Doubletree Hotel. They were
greeted Sunday night with a standing ovation, then hushed the crowd with
details of being charged with cultivating marijuana, conspiracy and
possession with intent to sell.

There were no sales,'' Kubby said; the 256 marijuana plants that were seized
were for their own use.

``There was no way economically we could stop growing his medicine,''
Michelle Kubby said.

The Kubbys had more marijuana ``than necessitated by a medical condition,''
Placer County prosecutor Christoper Cattran has been quoted as saying.

Now the Kubbys' supporters are talking about mounting a recall against
Placer County District Attorney Bradford Fenocchio, who is prosecuting the
couple. ``We are looking into all our legal options,'' Priscilla Falconi,
the Placer County Libertarian Party chairwoman, said after the Kubbys spoke

Both Kubbys use medicinal marijuana; they call it their ``medicine.''

Michelle Kubby said she uses it as an anti-spasmodic for irritable bowel
syndrome. Steve Kubby has a rare form of adrenal cancer. The marijuana helps
control his blood pressure, helping protect against stroke and aneurysms,
his wife said.

Steve Kubby helped qualify Proposition 215 for the ballot, and in 1996
California voters approved the measure allowing distribution of marijuana to
seriously ill patients. But the Clinton administration, and the state under
former Attorney General Dan Lungren, claimed the proposition conflicts with
federal drug laws.

Kubby turned over most of his time Sunday to his wife, who talked with
emotion about what their family has been through. She began her tale with
the Jan. 19 raid on the couple's rented home in Olympic Valley.

Authorities began their investigation after receiving an anonymous letter
last fall saying Kubby was growing thousands of plants and selling marijuana
to finance his campaign. It culminated in the search of their home.

``We have no business anymore,'' Michelle Kubby said of their online
magazine. They have taken our computer, our printer, our digital scanner.
They took all our plants, all our (plant growing) lights. They've taken a
lot from us. . . .They've destroyed our business and our life.''

Michelle Kubby said she'd had a miscarriage in September, ``perhaps because
of the terror and stress from surveillance.''

Steve Kubby said he was tipped to the investigation almost immediately and
would leave notes to investigators in the family trash, which was being

``Whoever wrote that letter put us and the Libertarian Party on the map,''
Kubby said.

Michelle Kubby said she believes that the person who wrote the letter ``was
close to us,'' and thus sees it as a ``betrayal.''

The worst part of their ordeal, she said, was time in the Auburn jail, where
she could hear her husband vomiting but she was not allowed to see him.
``This medicine (marijuana) is what keeps him alive,'' she said. Without it,
she said, ``they almost killed him.''

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