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Pubdate: Thu, 06 Jan 2000
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Sacramento Bee
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Address: P.O.Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852
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Author: Wayne Wilson, Bee Staff Writer
Cited: Steve Kubby: http://www.kubby.com/

MEDICAL POT DEFENDANT ASKS LOCKYER TO STEP IN;  SHERIFF, D.A. NAMED IN COMPLAINT

by Wayne Wilson, Bee Staff Writer


Medical marijuana advocate Steve Kubby has gone on the offensive in his battle with Placer County law enforcement, alleging that his "basic right" to use "the only medicine that keeps me alive" has been violated. In a formal complaint dated Tuesday, the 1998 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate asked state Attorney General Bill Lockyer to intervene in the pending prosecution of Kubby and his wife, Michele, claiming the possession-for-sale charges filed against them are bogus.

"My wife and I are victims of those who seek to gut Prop. 215 and punish those behind it," said Kubby, whose physician has submitted a letter to the court declaring that marijuana "not only controlled the symptoms of (Kubby's cancer) but, in my view, has arrested its growth."

Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act passed by voters in 1996, legalized the cultivation and possession of marijuana for medical use in California. Kubby was one of its chief proponents.

The prosecution contends that the Kubbys' in-home cultivation of 265 plants, 110 of them fully grown and budded females, exceeded the number necessary to meet his medical needs.

But Kubby disagrees.

"We are but two of dozens of patients and caregivers who acted in good faith following passage of 215 and have been cynically arrested by narcotics agents who seek to invalidate the voters' will and the present state law," Kubby charged.

Kubby named Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner, District Attorney Brad Fenocchio, Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy, Deputy District Attorneys Christopher Cattran and Eugene Gini and sheriff's investigator Michael Lyke as those "who bear direct responsibility for what was done to me and my family."

Because Kubby is the subject of an ongoing prosecution, none of the law enforcement officials contacted would comment on his complaint.

Sheriff Bonner said he hadn't seen the allegations. "(Kubby's) got a court date coming up. We'll address it then," he stated.

Fenocchio reacted with a simple, "No comment."

Kubby's complaint went to the Department of Justice public inquiry unit, which will assign staff to examine the matter and address the issues as needed, said Nathan Barankin, the attorney general's communications director.

In his complaint, Kubby, 53, described himself as a "legally disabled terminal cancer patient" whose condition requires that he consume about seven pounds of marijuana a year.

He said the raid last Jan. 19 at his Squaw Valley home and subsequent incarceration almost killed him, destroyed his primary source of income and forced him out of his home and into bankruptcy.

"I never chose to be a medical marijuana patient, but I've exhausted every other therapy, including radiation, surgery, chemotherapy and exotic drugs," Kubby wrote. "Only medical marijuana worked for me."

Kubby pointed out that he played a key role in passing a law "to help people like me. . . . My wife and I were in careful compliance with the Compassionate Use Act and should not have been arrested.

"After a year and a half of investigation, not one instance of sales has been uncovered. Both my wife and I passed a test to prove we use no illegal drugs," he declared.

The Kubbys are scheduled to go to trial on charges of possession, possession for sale, conspiracy and cultivation in mid-February.

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