On April 19, US medical marijuana refugee Steve Kubby was released from a Canadian jail after spending four grueling days behind bars. Kubby was picked up by immigration authorities and then raided by police on April 16, 2002, for cultivating marijuana medicine to treat his severe cancer. Steve’s wife, Michelle, was also arrested on charges of cultivation and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Two other medical marijuana refugees, Ken Hayes and Steve Tuck, were arrested the same week. Kubby saw Tuck and Hayes behind bars.
“I spent an hour in the cell with Ken Hayes,” said Kubby. “I literally gave him the shirt off my back, because all he had was a t-shirt. I was really concerned about Steve Tuck?”
Tuck has suffered from severe pain since a term in the US military, when he did a parachute jump and hit the ground at “90 miles an hour,” Kubby related. Tuck has no feeling in his legs, but managed to walk with the aid of painkillers and cannabis since his spine was bolted together.
“Steve [Tuck] was also being denied morphine,” said Kubby. “I know that can be fatal?”
Kubby knows from personal experience the dangers of being denied medicine behind bars. In 1999, he spent three days in jail after police raided his California home during his electoral campaign for state governor. While in jail in California, he nearly died when a cancer called pheochromocytoma, which had been in remission for 20 years with the help of cannabis, became active again. Worse yet, when he was released, he returned to find his grow operation gutted by police.
Steve Kubby spent the first night of his recent, Canadian incarceration without a bed, on a cold floor, suffering from lack of cannabis.
“They thought I was a junky and wouldn’t listen to me,” he explained.
By the next day, however, the venerable Dr Lester Grinspoon – a Harvard professor and author of Marijuana Medicine – called to explain Kubby’s dire need for herb. Kubby reported that Canadian jail guards treated him more respectfully after learning of his condition.
Michelle Kubby credits Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery with saving her husband’s life.
“Marc Emery waited outside for four hours in the cold for my husband to be released,” she said. “He gave us $5,000 on the spot for Steve’s bail. He is my hero and I am indebted forever for what he did for us.”
Steve Kubby is currently recuperating in his home with his wife and two daughters.