Former Placer medipot activist may lose refuge

January 05, 2006

Penne Usher, Auburn Journal (CA)

Steve Kubby, a fugitive from Placer County and internationally known medical-marijuana activist, is fighting to stay in Canada despite a court order to leave the country by Thursday.

"Monday we're going to request a stay based on legal motions that we filed in court," Kubby said in a telephone interview from his home Thursday. "We remain hopeful that it will be granted."

Kubby fled to Canada with his family in an effort to avoid incarceration after a 2000 conviction in Placer County on charges of possession of mescaline and psilocybin. Placer County deputies reportedly found a small amount of peyote button and magic mushroom during a 1999 raid of Kubby's Olympic Valley home.

Two hundred sixty-five marijuana plants in various stages of growth were reportedly seized, officials said.

Kubby contends that he must smoke marijuana daily in order to live. He reportedly has a rare form of adrenal cancer and believes if he is returned to the United States he will be sent to jail and will die.

"I must confess that I really fear for my husband's life," Michelle Kubby said. "He must have cannabis constantly to survive the deadly threat posed by his adrenaline-secreting tumors."

The Canadian Border Services rejected the Kubby family's bid for protection Dec. 9. Kubby returns to a Canadian court Monday to argue that a stay of the departure order must be granted, his wife said.

Chris Cattran, deputy district attorney for Placer County, is prosecuting the case.

"He has a warrant out from Placer County for his arrest on charges of probation violations from the underlying case," Cattran said. "I imagine he'd be detained at the border pending his return to Placer County."

Kubby would have to serve his custody time of 120 days and address his probation violation, which could give him additional time behind bars, Cattran said.

If Kubby's request to stay in Canada is denied, the Kubby family must leave the country by Jan. 12 or face arrest Jan. 13, he said.

"I'll probably be talking to you through a cell in Placer County jail if I'm able to speak," Kubby said. "We're not very encouraged by the outcome."

Kubby ran as the Libertarian candidate for governor on the 1997/1998 ballot. He was also one of the authors of Prop. 215, the compassionate use act passed by the voters of the state of California in 1996.

Kubby was allowed to leave the Placer County and the country in 2000 with the stipulation that he returns for his surrender date. He opted to stay in Canada.



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