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Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 119
Last seen: 22 years, 1 month
Steve Kubby - Marijuana Martyr
    #318951 - 05/16/01 10:07 PM (22 years, 9 months ago)

Copied without permission from www.lp.org

Steve Kubby has avoided jail for at least three months -- and perhaps indefinitely -- after publicly refusing to serve a sentence imposed on him for misdemeanor drug charges.

At a hearing on April 27, a superior court judge in Auburn, California said he would postpone until July 20 any decision about whether to require Kubby, the California LP's 2000 gubernatorial candidate, to serve time in Placer County jail.

"I'm home free," said Kubby after the ruling. "I have been a terrible nightmare for them, openly defying their fraudulent courts and their lawless law enforcement. [And now the judge has] essentially ruled, OK, we'll give you another three months to keep refusing."

Kubby, 57, had faced a 120-day jail term for refusing to serve a four-month home arrest, wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, pay a $2,700 fine, or spend three years on probation.

The sentence had been imposed on Kubby in March after he was convicted of possession of minute quantities of psilocybin and mescaline -- charges which were a byproduct of a 1999 medical marijuana raid on his house. The medical marijuana charges were later dropped by the judge after a jury refused to convict Kubby or his wife, Michele.

But Kubby said he refused to serve any sentence for the misdemeanor psilocybin and mescaline convictions as a protest against a "broken criminal justice system," and because he was "unable to physically, financially, or morally complete electronic monitoring, probation, or payment of any fines assessed against me."

Although prosecutors at the April 27 hearing asked Superior Court Judge John H. Cosgrove to put Kubby in jail immediately for his defiance, local prison officials said they could not accept Kubby because they couldn't furnish him with medical marijuana.

Under Proposition 215, it is legal in California to use medical marijuana for legitimate medical purposes. Because Kubby -- who suffers from a rare form of adrenal cancer -- takes medical marijuana under doctor's orders, prison officials apparently feared that they would be required to furnish him with marijuana.

"It was a cosmic game of chicken and the jailers blinked," said Kubby. "[Prison officials] are afraid that I will get the legal right to smoke medical marijuana in jail -- and gain that right for thousands of cancer and AIDS patients. It would be their worst nightmare. Their fear is colossal."

The three-month sentencing delay could be even longer, said Kubby, since Proposition 36 -- an initiative passed in 2000 by California voters that mandates treatment rather than jail time for first-time drug offenders -- becomes effective on July 1.

"After July 1, it will be illegal to put me in jail for possession," said Kubby. "Prop. 36 will be in effect and we don't think the judge can order any jail time at that point. In fact, we think the judge planned it that way."

Because of the impact of Proposition 36, Kubby said he is confident that he will emerge victorious from his protracted legal wrangling.

"We've won every step of the way," he said. "For the past two months, I have publicly defied Placer County, refused probation, refused to pay any fines, and refused to register as a drug offender. To the utter dismay of the prosecutors and law enforcement, I have remained free [and] continued using medical marijuana."

However, Kubby's legal battles are not over yet: On April 27, Placer County prosecutors filed an appeal with the Third District Court of Appeals to turn his misdemeanor drug charges back into felonies.

But that appeal may actually work to his benefit, said Kubby, since it will allow him to argue again that the original medical marijuana charges against him were the result of an illegal "fishing trip" by police, and that the psilocybin and mescaline found in the raid were tainted evidence.

Earlier in April, Judge Cosgrove said he was convinced that Kubby had used the psilocybin (a single mushroom stem) for research for a book about the religious use of psychedelic mushrooms, and that the peyote button had been left by a visitor to Kubby's home.

Since Kubby had no previous criminal record, the judge had reduced the felony drug charges to misdemeanors -- and imposed the sentence that had set off the current round of legal wrangling.

Kubby's odyssey through the criminal justice system began in January 1999, when police raided his Olympic Valley home. He and Michele were charged with violating 19 drug laws, including conspiracy, cultivation, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Both pleaded not guilty to all charges, arguing that they had used marijuana in accordance with Proposition 215.

In December 2000, after a four-month trial, a "hopelessly deadlocked" jury said it could not reach a verdict on the most significant charges against the Kubbys, and voted 11-1 in favor of acquittal.

In March 2001, the judge dismissed all medical marijuana charges against Steve Kubby, and ruled that he could continue to use medical marijuana.

Kubby was the LP's gubernatorial candidate in California in 1998, and sought the party's vice presidential nomination in 2000. He also played a key role in helping to pass Proposition 215 (The Compassionate Use Act) in 1996.

Kubby said he plans to run for governor of California again in 2002, and expects to make a formal announcement by June.

Attaboy, Steve.

Edited by MOoKie on 05/17/01 01:57 AM.

"If it ain't one thing, then it's the other. Any cause that crosses your path; your heart bleeds for anyone's brother. I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass."      Oingo Boingo!

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Registered: 04/05/01
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Re: Steve Kubby - Marijuana Martyr [Re: MOoKie]
    #323836 - 05/22/01 11:13 PM (22 years, 9 months ago)

A really good article from www.salon.com by a Marijuana using cancer patient.

Thirty minutes after my chemo infusions, the surges and swells would start and grow until the whole sky was gray and the waves were capped with a vicious silver. Chemo nausea isn't like any other kind. It's relentless. It's driving. Every flu is packed together into a hurricane.

A body that knows it's been poisoned fights back. It's willing to expunge -- by all means necessary -- every ounce of toxin to survive.

I learned this the hard way. I tried chemotherapy without weed the first time around, even though a friend who'd had the same chemotherapy said I shouldn't go it alone. "Chemo's grim, man," he muttered into the phone. "Get weed." I tried my chemo regimen without weed. Once.

From then on I didn't captain a chemo boat without smoking a pinch of the magic herb immediately after. And it was magic. It steadied the seas on contact. Cleared the sky. From that first pull of smoke through my lungs I was back to a glassy sea, the same glassy sea most people take for granted.

I'm sure Clarence Thomas takes it for granted.

Through five years of treatment for Hodgkin's disease I relapsed twice, had the maximum dosage of mantle radiation one person should be allowed to enjoy in a lifetime, absorbed 12 chemotherapy agents in a variety of colors and means of infusion, and had surgery nine times. Medications were responsible for rashes, mouth sores, warts, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dry heaves, bone pain, gut pain and shingles. My temperature climbed as high as 106.5 and I had rigors, which are violent, full-body shakes of Victorian proportions.

I peed blue from the dyes I drank to go under scanners; once all the hair on one side of my leg stopped growing. The medications made me manic and agitated, depressed and somnolent. I was an insomniac and at other times unable to stay awake. I had a voracious appetite and anorexia. I was unable to think and at other times felt every sensation so vividly, so clearly, that I thought someone had turned up the volume on the world.

I had Adryiamycin, Bleomycin, Cytoxan, DTIC, Nitrogen Mustard, Prednisone, Procarbazine, Vincritstine, Vinblastine and VP-16. I've taken percoset, demerol, morphine, ativan, restoril, dalmane and halcion.

Oh yeah, and marijuana.

Weed was one of the few drugs that offered relief. It didn't knock me out or speed me up, it didn't destroy my heart muscle or take out my hair, it didn't slow my thinking or slur my speech. It didn't attack my bowels or make my fingers numb.

It did give me some peace.

It did settle my stomach.

It did revive my appetite.

It did not lead to an addiction.

It did not cost a lot of money. (Partly because my mom grew it for me in her backyard.)

It worked.

Clarence Thomas thinks I'm wrong, or depraved, or faking it. Writing for the court, he said, "In the case of the Controlled Substances Act, the statute reflects a determination that marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an exception." He noted that the act is based on the assumption that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use."

By that definition, I'm a crazy drug addict. In fact, I'm a doctor. Hell, I'm even a faculty member at a respected medical school. But hey, you don't have to take my word for it. Just up the street from Clarence Thomas' office there's a group of scientists who've taken a careful look at my magic weed.

In 1998, under pressure from the public to investigate the medical use of marijuana, the Office of National Drug Control Policy funded a study by the Institute of Medicine, which appointed an independent review panel. The Institute of Medicine asked 11 scientists to review the evidence for the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine.

In the process of preparing a report, the panel used scientific reviews, public hearings and reports from other agencies, and enlisted the assistance of numerous advisors and reviewers. In March 1999 it concluded that marijuana is effective in four circumstances: for reducing nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, for reducing rapid weight loss from AIDS, for alleviating some types of pain and for treating muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.

The Institute of Medicine also found that in 1996 roughly one-third of the U.S. population had tried marijuana but only one-twentieth of the population used it regularly. Of the regular users, very few developed a dependence or abuse problem in which their lives were interrupted by the drug. Few smoked pot after age 34. The study also found that people who do try harder drugs tend to have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder or a family history of psychopathology including alcoholism, and that marijuana usage is not a significant cause of harder drug use.

As a doctor, and a cancer patient, I find this information to be extremely relevant, if not crucial. I would have thought that a judge in Mr. Thomas' robes might also find it useful.

How about this: A lot of people argue that medical use of marijuana will lead to a perception that marijuana is safe. In the 1920s and 1950s there was a similar concern that physicians' increased prescription of opiates would lead to high rates of addiction. In fact, despite the much greater potential for biological addiction to opiates, there's been no black market swell in opiate use. People still accurately perceive, despite the legal prescription use of opiates, that they are not safe or harmless.

In fact, what we do know -- particularly those of us who are doctors -- is that too many people suffer needlessly out of fear of addiction when they need these drugs the most.

The folks at the Institute of Medicine have written that "few people begin their drug addiction problems with misuse of drugs that have been prescribed for medical use." A careful look at states and countries that have decriminalized marijuana shows that there is no evidence that such actions lead to increased use.

I learned this privately, without benefit of distance or government funding, in that dark little room where I fought the side effects of chemotherapy.

May you, Justice Thomas, never have to find out the hard way

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~Patrick Henry

"If it ain't one thing, then it's the other. Any cause that crosses your path; your heart bleeds for anyone's brother. I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass."      Oingo Boingo!

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