HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Marijuana Root Of Refugee Issue
Pubdate: Thu, 24 Apr 2003
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Hacker Press Ltd.
Contact:  http://www.abbynews.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1155
Author: Russ Akins

MARIJUANA ROOT OF REFUGEE ISSUE

An American citizen and his family who have made a refugee claim to stay in 
Canada will have to wait six months for a decision on the case, says an 
Alliance MP who attended much of the hearing process.

Langley-Abbotsford Alliance MP Randy White said Californian Steve Kubby 
claims his inability to legally smoke marijuana - to alleviate medical 
symptoms - amounts to political persecution in his own country.

After nine days of testimony heard in Vancouver over two months, 
Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Paula Downes has reserved her 
decision until the end of October.

The move further delays the pending hearings of "other Americans who have 
made refugee claims using the same defence," said White.

Kubby, 56, once ran unsuccessfully for California governor. He moved to 
B.C. in 2000 after being convicted on two counts of possession of a narcotic.

He faces up to four months in a California jail, claiming that him denying 
medical marijuana amounts to persecution and cruel and unusual punishment.

However, White believes that Kubby was not successful in proving he is 
persecuted in the U.S. But the case could set a precedent, said the MP.

"Mr. Kubby's argument is that he would be subject to criminal charges and 
punishment for growing and smoking his marijuana in the U.S., but not in 
Canada.

"If the IRB buys that argument, it will open the door to other Americans in 
similar situations," said White.

Prior to the start of the hearings, Kubby told the Abbotsford News: "We are 
excited about the opportunity to put the Police States of America on trial.

"We will provide smoking gun documents that will show a criminal group of 
police, prosectors and judges who are violating a number of laws by meeting 
secretly on public funds, to invalidate an initiative written and passed by 
the people."

He referred to a 1990s California state vote that approved medial marijuana 
use.

"Randy White is completely irrelevant to the hearings," said Kubby.

White said he has found evidence on the Internet of an "underground 
railroad" that will bring marijuana users from the U.S. into Canada.

"They're lining up to come to Canada, the new medical-marijuana sanctuary."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart