Cannabis News

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 25, 2001.

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 court."

Copyright: 2002 Sacramento Bee

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