HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Home Is Where the High Is
Pubdate: Sun, 02 Feb 2003
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)

Copyright: 2003 Los Angeles Times
Author: Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writer
Related: The Times Sunday Magazine cover story 'The Drug War Refugees'
Bookmarks: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada) (Kubby, Steve)


To see the Sechelt, B.C., home of expatriate California activist Steve
Kubby is to understand the depth of the man's passion about medical

Up on the top floor, the cumulus of medicinal cannabis smoke is often
so thick that it has been declared off limits to 6-year-old Brooke and
her sister, Crystal, 3. This level is also nerve center for Team
Kubby. A trio of computers generates mass e-mail chatter to cannabis
constituents. The Kubby Web page bristles with written commentary,
news articles and family photos. A copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights
resides beside an unabashed pitch for donations--all major credit
cards accepted. The open hand works. A Libertarian in San Francisco
gave the Kubbys $20,000 for their legal defense.

Family life plays out one floor down. Kubby, a big hugger around wife
and kids, isn't above hitting the carpet on all fours to goof off with
Crystal. An exception to suburban status quo is the breakfast nook,
set up like a network news studio: anchor desk, TV camera on a tripod,
klieg lights, blue-cloth backdrop.

 From this hutch, the Kubbys tape a half-hour news program several
times a week for Pot-TV, an Internet streaming video site run out of
Vancouver's B.C. Marijuana Party headquarters. Each episode of Pot-TV
News--positioned beside programs such as "Hollyweed" and "Marijuana
Man Grow Show"--starts with reggae's cannabis anthem "Smoke Two
Joints," then shifts incongruously to the smiling, clean-scrubbed
Kubbys. He favors a corporate blazer and tie of red, white and blue.
Michele, a blond and stylish woman raised in coastal Orange County,
used to work at a San Francisco securities firm before she married
Steve in 1995, and her life changed forever. Now, hair coiffed, makeup
expertly applied, she handles the news updates--often a litany of the
latest busts back in the States.

Her husband dishes up scalding commentary. Consider the day a Canadian
research team questioned pot's efficacy for the terminally ill. Kubby
treats such doubt like a fastball under his chin. "Shame on these
doctors for making these fraudulent, ignorant and biased statements,"
Kubby growls, concluding that the researchers are "quacks."

Pot-TV news not only qualifies the Kubbys for Canadian work visas, it
earns them $25,000 a year. But what puts marijuana into Kubby's
cigarettes is on the bottom floor, in the two-car-garage-turned-greenhouse.
The couple's old Subaru sits on the driveway to make room for an
indoor plantation of medicinal pot. Nursery lights blaze overhead. A
blower pumps carbon dioxide to the fragrant crop. "They're all
thoroughbreds," Kubby says of his plants, pointing out the different
varietals: Island Sweet Skunk, a narrow leaf of deep green; Williams
Wonder, broad and fat. Years of experimentation have taught Kubby what
works best to ease his symptoms and pain while avoiding psychoactive
jags and the munchies. His personal favorite, Celestial Temple Sativa,
is an Ecuadorean native Kubby regards as "the most extraordinary pot
I've ever experienced. You can smoke all day and be cerebral."

Kubby calls this garage full of high-grade weed his "victory garden."
In September, despite the deportation wrangling, he won a medical
marijuana exemption from Health Canada, a government agency that has
issued only a few hundred of the permits across the country. Kubby's
laminated medpot card is his hall pass to travel anywhere in Canada
with 360 grams, enough dried cannabis to nearly stuff a one-pound
coffee can. He can also grow 59 plants and store nearly six pounds in
his home.

It is truly a North American paradox: This man U.S. law officers
called a drug trafficker is considered by Canadian health officials
simply to be a very sick fellow. 
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