In January 1999, Libertarian politician and medpot cancer patient Steve Kubby and his wife Michele watched police invade their California home.
The Kubbys were arrested and charged with nearly two dozen drug crimes, including cultivation of marijuana. They were each facing at least five years in prison.
Their arrest and subsequent prosecutorial actions caused the Kubbys and their two small children to endure significant financial, physical and emotional difficulty.
After a lengthy trial that ended in December 2000, Steve Kubby was found guilty of two felony charges. The felonies consisted of alleged possession of a one-inch mushroom stem and four tiny cacti buttons.
While awaiting sentencing, Kubby visited BC Marijuana Party President and candidate Marc Emery, also known as a pioneering cannabis seedmeister who has inseminated the world with the finest cannabis genetics.
Emery and Kubby, who share freedom-loving political views, agreed to have Kubby and his wife Michele produce hard-hitting news shows for Emery’s Pot-TV Internetwork. Kubby recorded some of those shows in America, and sent them back to Emery’s studio via US mail, but the tapes never made it through Canadian Customs. Kubby speculates that Customs seized them as subversive materials.
Kubby returned from Canada to face sentencing in March. Judge John Cosgrove, pressured by Placer County district attorney Chris Cattran’s refusal to disclose before sentencing whether he would re-try Kubby on the marijuana charges, granted Kubby’s request that the felonies be reduced to misdemeanors, but sentenced Kubby to 120 days house arrest, three years probation, and several thousand dollars in fines.
Kubby told Cannabis Culture that after examining sentencing terms, he concluded that abiding by them would violate his constitutional and human rights.
He delivered the following letter to Placer authorities on the first day of spring, March 20th:
“The real power of the state does lies not in its guns or jail cells but in the confused willingness of individuals to subordinate their legitimate rights and voluntarily give up their property, their money and their liberty. The threat of danger is their means of coercion. The greater the threat, the less the objection to giving up liberties. Ayn Rand characterized this phenomenon as the ‘Sanction of the Victim,’ a process by which the state coerces citizens to sanction the very injustice that is perpetrated upon them. After becoming aware of the incredibly strict limitations of house arrest, we have concluded that 120 days of house arrest, as well as three years formal probation ordered by Judge Cosgrove, is a real and direct threat to my life.
Furthermore, we believe that sentencing me, when I am medically disabled and suffering from terminal cancer, to conditions that threaten my life, for misdemeanor possession of a mushroom stem and some tiny cactus buttons, is a violation of my Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, I am notifying the probation department and other authorities that I cannot agree to the terms of electronic monitoring, probation, or the payment of any fines.”
After Kubby delivered the letter, he heard from the head of Placer County’s probation department. Instead of being angry and dictatorial, Kubby said, the bureaucrat was pleasant and open-minded.
“He told me that the probation department didn’t want me to go to jail,” Kubby said. “I told him I couldn’t comply with the terms of probation because the state had so damaged my family that we were left without enough money to supply myself with the house in which to serve out my house arrest term. I couldn’t pay the fine or probation fines that had been ordered, because the police and prosecutors bankrupted my family by falsely arresting me for growing medical marijuana. I couldn’t serve three years of formal probation because a person on probation has no rights, and it would only be a matter of time before a medical pot patient like me would be visited by police exercising their right to a warrantless probation search. The entire sentence would have been like living in a prison.”
Kubby, who sees California’s near-apocalyptic energy and overpopulation crisis as an opportunity to make political history as the Libertarian candidate for governor in 2002, said that the terms of the probation were more severe than if he had been convicted for marijuana felonies, and that they would prevent him from running for political office.
Michele Kubby told Cannabis Culture that she realizes her husband could be thrown in jail, and possibly die, due to his refusal to cooperate with sentencing commandments.
“The police stole two years of our life,” she said. “They owe us more than an apology. At sentencing, everyone should have said to us, ‘We’re sorry we ruined your life. We will compensate you for what we did. We won’t ever treat anybody else the way we treated you.’ Instead, we were given a three year leash to choke on. Steve and I agreed it was better to get this settled right away.”
Kubby has until April 10th to comply with sentencing instructions. After that, he is subject to immediate arrest and imprisonment.
“I wrote a book called ‘The Politics of Consciousness,’ and part of it discussed courageous people who helped fight tyranny during the early days of the American Revolution,” Kubby said. “My final statement about this situation is best summed up by words uttered centuries ago by one of those early Americans who gave their life to defeat tyrants: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death.'”