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Newshawk: The Kubby Files http://www.kubby.com
Pubdate: Wed, 6 October 1999
Source: WorldNetDaily
Copyright: 1999 WorldNetDaily
Contact: letters@worldnetdaily.com
Web site: http://www.worldnetdaily.com
Author: Steve Kubby
Note: WorldNetDaily has been rated as the top news web site for the past 23 weeks and is rapidly gaining a world class reputation for investigative news reporting.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS NO HOAX


By Steve Kubby

I should be dead. That's what doctors recently told me after completing extensive medical tests at the University of Southern California's School of Medicine. According to Dr. Vincent DeQuattro, a USC professor and world authority on adrenal cancer, my blood shows lethal levels of adrenaline.

That's really not surprising, since everyone who has ever had my disease has died within a few years. Except for me. Thanks to medical marijuana, I'm now entering my 23rd year of survival, something DeQuattro considers a "medical miracle."

Dr. DeQuattro even wrote a letter advising that I could suffer a heart attack or stroke if deprived of marijuana and that no other form of therapy is available.

Unfortunately, none of this seems to matter in Placer County, Calif., where 20 armed officers from four different agencies stormed our Squaw Valley home four months ago. Armed with laser guided automatic weapons, body armor and a battering ram, a SWAT team blocked off our street, raided our home and confiscated almost everything of value we own.

Besides taking my plants, gardening equipment and medicine, they seized all of our electronic publishing equipment. That action effectively killed our on-line magazine, Alpine World, which had been rated as the 25th top electronic magazine in the world. This raid destroyed our primary source of income, forcing us out of our home and into bankruptcy.

All of these officers believed that medical marijuana is a hoax and that we deserved to be destroyed. None of the officers had read or been briefed on the new medical marijuana law.

The Task Force confiscated our passports and social security cards. They stole our company's petty cash and then went through our safe deposit box. They even took the cash out of our wallets. Then they arrested us, handcuffed us, and took us away to jail for three days. After taking everything we own, they arbitrarily set bail at $200,000. Fortunately, our attorneys were able to persuade a judge to drop all bail and release us on our own recognizance.

Although both my wife and I are legal patients with doctor recommendations we face a 19-count criminal indictment, just for the crime of using a medicine which is not government-approved. Absolutely none of our medical marijuana was ever sold or illegally distributed.

The City of Oakland is the only jurisdiction in California that has set guidelines since the passage of Proposition 215 -- a statewide initiative that legalized marijuana for medical purposes -- in 1996. We carefully kept our home-grown medicine within the parameters set by The Oakland Guidelines -- which also happens to be lower than the 7.1 pounds of marijuana our federal government currently sends to each of the eight patients on the Compassionate IND program each year.

Those eight federal medical marijuana patients are doing very well, thank you. They work, travel and even drive while using their medication and there are no problems. In fact, each of the federal patients is doing much better than their counterparts on conventional drugs, enjoying a productive and reasonably comfortable life.

Unfortunately, the Compassionate IND program was suspended years ago and no one, no matter how desperately ill can qualify. The program has become such an embarrassment to the Clinton administration that they refuse to acknowledge that these federal standards for medical marijuana already exist.

While the Feds love to argue that federal law supersedes state law, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently disagreed. In a unanimous decision, a three member panel of judges found that seriously ill patients should be exempt from federal laws regarding marijuana. The federal court has sent the case back to District Court where the case is scheduled to be heard on Oct. 29 in Oakland.

No one can dispute that there are basic legal, medical and human rights issues at stake here. Sick, disabled and dying people are being dragged out of their beds, frightened, threatened, arrested, jailed and exposed to deadly opportunistic infections. Innocent, law abiding sick people are being vilified and persecuted simply because they rely upon a politically incorrect medication. Worst of all, the police we pay to protect us against violent criminals are out raiding sick and dying people instead.

We hope our case will achieve in the jury box what we were supposed to have won at the ballot box -- the right for medical patients to not be treated as criminals. Medical marijuana is not a hoax. It's time to stop arresting sick and dying people.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve Kubby was the Libertarian candidate for California governor in 1998 and played a key role in the campaign for California's medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215. He has written two books about drug policy reform, "The Politics Of Consciousness," and "Why Marijuana Should Be Legal," both of which are available at Amazon.com

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