Medical marijuana activist and former Squaw Valley resident Steve Kubby is no longer seeking to use cannabis for his cancer while in jail, his lawyer told a Placer County judge Friday.
Kubby’s attorney, Bill McPike, said his client’s blood pressure had stabilized and he was in better health. Michele Kubby noted that her husband has been taking two pills three times a day of Marinol, a synthetic drug that contains THC, the main substance in marijuana.
On Tuesday, McPike asked the judge if Kubby could take an edible form of marijuana while in jail. He removed that motion Friday.
“I talked to the [jail] doctor and health program director and his blood pressure has stabilized and gone down,” McPike told a crowd of supporters and media after the hearing Friday morning in Auburn. “It’s pretty miraculous. He was smiling and happy. Hopefully we did the right thing.”
Kubby is charged with violation of probation after fleeing to Canada in 2001. The Placer County district attorney’s office and McPike are working out a plea agreement that may allow Kubby to serve his 120-day sentence at home in Marin County. McPike said he was expecting to see an offer from the district attorney’s office Friday afternoon and that it may involve a longer sentence for Kubby.
Kubby, 59, was convicted in 2000 with felony drug possession of psilocybin and mescaline, but was acquitted of possession of marijuana for sale charges. Placer County deputies found 265 marijuana plants, peyote buttons and a hallucinogenic mushroom in the Kubby’s Squaw Valley home during a 1999 raid. He sentence was 120 days of house arrest and three years of formal probation.
In 2001, Kubby and his family fled to Canada to seek asylum. For five years they have sought protection from that country, but was denied it in December and ordered back to the U.S. Kubby was taken into custody from San Francisco International Airport Jan. 26 and transported to Placer County Jail in Auburn the next day, where he started his sentence.
Kubby and his supporters say he needs marijuana to keep adrenal cancer in remission and that he will die without it. He was diagnosed with the disease 30 years ago and has been smoking marijuana for it ever since, according to Kubby’s ex-wife, Rebecca Maidman, of Truckee.
Clark Sullivan, Web master for the Hemp Evolution Web site who traveled from San Francisco to support Kubby, said supporters are putting in 60 calls a day to the jail nurse and the sheriff’s office to make sure Kubby is getting the proper medical treatment.
“He said that if I didn’t have Marinol waiting for him, he would have died,” Michele Kubby said to a crowd of supporters and media gathered after the hearing. “It is cruel and unusual punishment for the family to have their father die. The punishment does not fit the crime. The drug war punishes women and children. Me and my children are suffering.”
Michele Kubby, who attended the hearing with their nine-year-old daughter Brooke, said she has documentation to prove that a judge allowed them to go to Canada five years ago.
“We are lawmakers, not lawbreakers,” she said. “We never tried to break the law unless it is political, and this is political. We have the truth on our side. I have been very frustrated with Placer County. I haven’t heard a thing about Placer County’s intentions with my husband.”
However, Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran said Kubby was not to leave the state of California.
“He mentioned [five years ago] he wanted to go to Canada to visit friends and he had a turn-in date,” Cattran said. “He failed to turn himself in.”
Medical marijuana patients and advocates from the California Marijuana Party, Libertarian Party, California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Axis of Love San Francisco and the El Dorado County chapter of American Alliance for Medical Cannabis formed a prayer circle before Friday’s hearing and held up quilts and signs in support of Kubby.
Steven Tuck, 39, was deported from Canada on a medical marijuana case in October and traveled from Oregon to support Kubby.
“I have to show Steve I support him,” Tuck said. “Out of all the people here, I know what he is going through.”
Kubby ran for governor in 1998 as a member of the Libertarian Party and co-authored Prop. 215, the initiative approved by California voters in 1996 for the legalization of medical marijuana.
A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. in Auburn.