Medipot fugitive to stay in Canada despite eviction order

January 12, 2006

Penne Usher, Auburn Journal

Steve Kubby, a fugitive from Placer County and internationally known medical-marijuana activist, will stay in Canada for the time being despite an order to leave the country last week.

The Canadian Border Services rejected the Kubby family's bid for protection Dec. 9 and ordered the Kubby family out of the country by Jan. 12 or face arrest.

Michele Kubby, Steve's wife, asked a Canadian court Monday for a stay based on legal motions. She said she had limited success.

"We have a stay technically," Michele Kubby said in a telephone interview from her home Thursday. "We will not be removed until a (final) decision has been made by the court."

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.

"He has a prescription for an ounce a day," Michele Kubby said.

Steve Kubby's doctor, Joseph Connors, a medical oncologist for British Columbia Cancer Agency, said in a telephone interview Thursday that Kubby's medical marijuana consumption appears to work.

"Having established all by himself that (cannabis) worked, when he came into my hands since it had been working for years it was most sensible to (continue) to use it," Connors said.

If the family's bid to stay in Canada fails, they will most likely be returned to Placer County, where Steve Kubby may have to serve his custody time of 120 days and address his probation violation, officials said.

"The next step, if we lose the stay with the judge, is that we can appeal his decision to the court of appeals," Michele Kubby said. "I always believe there is hope so long as we're in the courts."

Kubby said Thursday that he has an "exemption" from Health Canada at the federal level that allows him to possess and cultivate marijuana.

"I can smoke up to 28 grams a day (1 oz.) and I'm able to grow that myself," Kubby said. "I have to smoke a certain strain and am able to grow what I need for my particular problem."

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 Placer County and the country in 2000 with the stipulation that he return for his surrender date. He opted to stay in Canada and is now considered a fugitive.

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