HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html American Pot Advocate Seeks Refugee Status In
Pubdate: Wed, 05 Mar 2003
Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada Web)
Copyright: 2003 CBC


VANCOUVER - An American man who fled to Canada after being arrested for 
cultivating marijuana for medicinal purposes will have a refugee hearing in 
Vancouver Wednesday.

Steve Kubby is the founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association 
and has been living in British Columbia for more than a year.

Kubby suffers from adrenal cancer and says he faces persecution in the 
United States. because he uses marijuana to ease the symptoms of his disease.

He is claiming refugee status in Canada and if he's successful he would be 
one of few Americans to gain that status.

Police raided Kubby's home in Lake Tahoe, Calif., in January 1999 and laid 
charges after seizing hundreds of marijuana plants.

A jury found Kubby not guilty on those charges, but he fled to B.C. to 
avoid jail time on a lesser conviction.

Kubby says denying him access to pot would kill him. He says U.S. 
authorities are waging a deliberate campaign against him.

"We're going to provide documentation of illegal activities by law 
enforcement to target the political leaders of the medical marijuana 
movement in California," he said.

After Canadian immigration officials attempted to deport Kubby, he filed 
for refugee status.

Canadian Alliance MP Randy White says Kubby is using the refugee hearing as 
a soapbox to air his side of the medical marijuana debate.

White says the debate over the medical use of pot in the U.S. belongs there 
and not in a hearing in Canada.

"Does that mean people who don't like gun control in Canada should claim 
refugee status to the United States because they feel they're being 
persecuted? I don't think so," White said.

White successfully applied to have the hearing open to the public. He says 
the fact that Kubby has gotten this far is a precedent refugee officials 
can do without.
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