Medical Marijuana Activist Kubby Arrested in Canada
By Wayne Wilson -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PDT Thursday, April 18, 2002
Medical marijuana activist Steve Kubby was arrested in Canada on Tuesday
as a fugitive from Placer County justice.
The 55-year-old 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, a force behind
the passage of California's Proposition 215, has been living in Sechelt,
British Columbia, in violation of a court-ordered 120-day jail stay.
Kubby was convicted of two misdemeanor drug-possession counts in December
2000, but failed to surrender to the Placer County jail as ordered on July
He has explained from his new home in Canada that a 120-day incarceration
without access to the marijuana therapy that he claims has preserved his
life for more than 15 years would amount to a death sentence.
Kubby suffers from adrenal cancer and turned to pot only after three
surgeries, chemotherapy and several tries of "untraditional
medicine" failed, according to testimony during his trial in Auburn.
He uses marijuana with the approval of his physician, and during his trial
was permitted to take regular breaks to "medicate" himself
outside the courtroom.
Although Kubby and his wife, Michele, prevailed on the more serious
marijuana cultivation and sales allegations, he was found guilty of
possessing minute amounts of two illegal substances found during a search
of his Olympic Valley house.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Michele Kubby said her husband's
immigration lawyer in Canada was attempting to secure his release on bail.
In a related development, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento
handed Kubby a legal setback, ruling April 12 that his appeal would be
dismissed unless he surrenders to Placer County officials within 30 days.
The appellate court ruled that, as a fugitive from justice, Kubby
"has forfeited his right to appeal his jail term."
It noted that Kubby admitted in a declaration that he "decided to
move to Canada after his initial interview with his probation officer
because he concluded that incarceration would endanger his health."
"Where it is undisputed that the misdemeanant has fled the
jurisdiction to avoid his jail term, he forfeits his right to invoke the
court's jurisdiction on appeal.
"We are sympathetic to (Kubby's) medical condition," the court
wrote, but "we have little sympathy" for his decision "to
take the law into his own hands and flee the jurisdiction of the
Copyright: 2002 Sacramento Bee
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