HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html The Imperial Drug War
Pubdate: Mon, 10 Mar 2003
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2003 The Orange County Register
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


Somehow we knew that when Steve Kubby and his family moved from Orange
County to British Columbia to avoid clashes with authorities over his
medical use of marijuana he would not simply grow his medicine and stay
quiet. Sure enough, he has been an outspoken activist in Canada, and
Canadian immigration officials have pushed to deport him. Now he is
knee-deep in a long-shot effort to establish himself as a political refugee.

Canada two years ago changed its law to allow the medical use of marijuana
nationwide and is considering decriminalizing recreational use, even though
U.S. "drug czar" John Walters has threatened to tighten border security and
cut trade if our neighbor to the north is so audacious as to exercise its

Mr. Kubby and his wife, Michele, contend that if forced to return to the
United States he would be in peril and could be singled out for persecution.

He was acquitted on marijuana charges in a Placer County trial, but
convicted for possessing a couple of peyote buttons and a psylocibin
mushroom, and scheduled to serve four months in prison. But when he was in
jail for three days, unable to use the marijuana that he and several doctors
(most recently Dr. Joseph Connors of the B.C. Cancer Agency) say keeps his
adrenal cancer in remission, his physical condition deteriorated severely.
That is why the family moved to Canada.

It is also likely that as a visible advocate he could face federal
prosecution. Oakland medical marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal was recently
convicted on federal charges although he was growing marijuana as an agent
of the city of Oakland in compliance with California law - information the
jury was not allowed to know.

We hope the Kubbys are allowed to stay in Canada for now. But the real
solution to their problem and the problems of thousands of seriously ill
people is for the United States to adopt more rational drug policies. Three
California members of Congress - Democrats Sam Farr and Lynn Woolsey and
Republican Dana Rohrabacher - are crafting a bill to allow federal
defendants in states with medical marijuana cases to present medical
information to juries. That modest reform should be passed immediately.

Freedom Communications, Inc.
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