HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Forced Out Of Canada?
Pubdate: Sun, 04 Jan 2004
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
Copyright: 2004 Las Vegas Review-Journal
Author: Vin Suprynowicz
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


Steve Kubby, 55, the 1998 Libertarian candidate for governor of California, 
was a leading force behind the passage of that year's referendum which 
legalized medical marijuana there.

But it was after voters approved Proposition 215 that California police 
broke into Kubby's Lake Tahoe home, busting him and his wife Michele for 
growing what they contended was "too much" marijuana.

(Kubby asked them not to frighten his young daughter by breaking into his 
home with guns drawn -- saying he'd gladly show them his marijuana plants 
at any time. He tells me he sent this message to police by placing a note 
in his trash can. Police introduced the note at his trial.)

After Kubby explained why he needed to maintain more than 200 plants in 
various stages of growth at his Lake Tahoe home to successfully breed the 
strains which keep his adrenalin levels below toxic levels, his California 
jury in 2001 unanimously acquitted the Kubbys of any wrongdoing for their 
marijuana cultivation. They did, however, convict Kubby on a minor related 
charge after police found a dried-up hallucinogenic mushroom stem or cactus 
button (police were never sure which) in a drawer in a guest bedroom of the 

Needless to say, rather than instructing the jurors of their irreversible 
power to decide that this law and its application were wacky, the trial 
judge told them they had no choice but to enforce the law.

An adrenal cancer survivor who has received medical advice that he could 
die if incarcerated as long as four days without his quasi-legal 
medication, Kubby has been living in Canada rather than submit to a 
court-ordered 120-day California jail sentence on the dried-up vegetable 

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, whom Kubby describes as having 
been "made to look ridiculous" in a 1998 debate with the Libertarian 
candidate, seems to have taken on the Kubby case as a personal vendetta, 
labeling Kubby a "fugitive" and successfully intervening with the court to 
get Kubby's misdemeanor conviction upgraded to a felony, after the fact.

Canadian sources say it's Kubby's continuing high profile in the pot 
legalization movement -- founded the American Medical Marijuana 
Association; he and Michele host Canada's Vancouver-based Internet-based 
Pot-TV news -- that has led to pressure on Canadian authorities from "south 
of the border" to crack down on the Kubbys, after they invited press 
photographers to tour their home last year, resulting in the publication of 
photos of the medical marijuana they grow there.

On Dec. 20, Michele Kubby wrote me from Sechelt, British Columbia:

"The Kubby family could be forced by Immigration officials to leave Canada 
as early as Jan. 15.

"Initially we were optimistic that our appeal would be heard (and) we were 
not at any imminent danger. We even told reporters and friends not to worry 
about us. However, now that we've had a chance to obtain competent legal 
advice, we finally realize just how serious and precarious our plight has 

"Although we have filed an appeal with the federal court of Canada, we've 
just learned that the judge has the right to refuse to hear the case. We 
are supposed to have the right to a full hearing before an independent 
board, but the Immigration Ministry has not yet created an Appeal Board and 
we are caught in the middle.

"We're very concerned that we will be forced to leave Canada without a fair 

The Kubbys said they have been assured by immigration officials that before 
forcing them to return to the United States, they will have a 
risk-assessment evaluation. But Michele Kubby is not optimistic.

"Immigration has done everything they can to have us removed from Canada 
and we don't expect any favors in the risk-assessment process. Furthermore, 
(our attorney) John Conroy has advised us that this decision has painted us 
into a legal corner and there's not much he can do to help us.

"For the past five years, I've watched one judge after another refuse to 
protect my husband. I don't have much hope that this next judge will be any 
different. At this point, we can only hope that our plight will shock the 
conscience of Canadians and that somehow this terrible and unjust decision 
by the Refugee Board will get an honest and fair review.

"The continued abuse of 'due process' is wearing Steve down. How can these 
judges and government officials look at themselves in the mirror when my 
husband is suffering so? Why can't a judge simply say that Steve Kubby is a 
bona fide cancer patient and that he deserves to be left alone? It's like 
these officials are saying, 'Merry Christmas; now get out of our country.'

"We believe this recent decision by the Refugee Board is a fraud that 
cannot stand up to a proper judicial review. The evidence on our side is 
overwhelming. It was their doctor, not ours, who said Steve would die if 
deprived of medical marijuana for more than 48 hours. The Refugee Board 
even heard from a former U.S. prosecutor and sitting judge that it was not 
safe for Steve to return. And still they refuse to believe what was in 
front of their own eyes. Truly, none are so blind as those who refuse to see."

Michele Kubby says that those who wish to help can contribute online at:

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal 
and author of the books "Send in the Waco Killers" and "The Ballad of Carl 
Drega." His Web site is
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