Pubdate: Mon, 8 Mar 1999
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Copyright: 1999 The Orange County Register


Steve Kubby,the Libertarian party candidate for governor in 1998, and his
wife, Michele, had their preliminary hearing on marijuana cultivation and
sales charges in Tahoe City last Tuesday. The two will face a total of 19
charges. The case is scheduled for arraignment in Superior Court in Auburn
March 19.

The actual trial will take place later, probably sometime in May.

During his campaign Mr. Kubby was very open about the fact that he has used
marijuana medicinally since he was diagnosed more than 20 years ago with a
rare form of adrenal cancer that is usually fatal within a few years, as
well as for high blood pressure.

Dr. Vincent DeQuattro, a professor of medicine at USC who treated Mr. Kubby
15 years ago and was amazed to find he was still alive, wrote a letter to
the court. In it he said that Mr. Kubby still has the malignancy, but the
marijuana "in some amazing fashion ... has not only controlled the symptoms
but in my view has arrested the growth."

But local prosecutors, in conjunction with state and federal officials on an
interagency task force, contend that the 265 plants found growing in the
Kubby home constitute evidence of cultivation for sale.

They argued that California's medical-marijuana law, passed by the voters as
Prop. 215 in 1996, should not even be considered during this trial.

Mr. Kubby didn't contest that during the preliminary hearing. As attorney
Dale Wood of Truckee told us Wednesday, "We made a tactical decision not to
cross-examine their experts at this stage. Now that we know more about the
nature of the prosecution case, we are looking forward to being more
aggressive during the trial."

The shame is that this trial is taking place at all. California voters
passed Prop. 215 and both Steve and Michele Kubby have recommendations from
licensed physicians to use marijuana medically, just as the law requires.

For prosecutors to press forward under such circumstances smacks of malice
or worse - an overt effort to turn a law duly passed by California voters
into a dead letter.

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