Medical marijuana advocates Michele and Steve Kubby are anticipating a ruling “any day now” on their historic bid to become Canada’s first officially-sanctioned reefer refugees.
The Kubbys fled to Canada from California three years ago, after Steve was found guilty of minor drug law violations and was told that he would not be able to use life-saving medical marijuana after his conviction.
Steve Kubby suffers from a rare form of cancer, and has long argued that marijuana is the only reason that the cancer has not killed him. A recent article in the prestigious journal “Nature” agreed with Kubby, stating that marijuana killed cancer tumors by cutting off their blood supply.
The Kubbys worked for Marc Emery’s Pot-TV network when they first arrive in Canada, anchoring the popular Pot-TV News. Steve Kubby also received a coveted Health Canada medical marijuana possession and grow license. He grows dozens of marijuana plants in a high-tech grow room provided to him by Canadian marijuana products company Advanced Nutrients, which conducts pharmaceutical, genetic, and plant physiology research on the crops grown by Kubby.
Earlier this year, Michele Kubby acted as her own lawyer in hearings before an immigration judge. The Kubbys are seeking official refugee status. They argue that Steve would die in America if he was sent back to face incarceration or other actions relating to his earlier conviction, because authorities will not guarantee him access to medpot. They also claim they would be victims of political persecution as individuals, and as part of a persecuted minority – pot smokers – who are targets of a “genocidal” US-government war. If the Kubbys win refugee status, it will be historic, because the ruling will in effect mean that the Canadian government has acknowledged that the US is a country that routinely violates the human rights of its citizens.
The refugee hearings were contentious and controversial, with government lawyers accused of lying by the Kubbys. Michele Kubby, who has no formal training as a lawyer, won plaudits from attorneys for her skillful attacks on the government’s attempts to send her and her family back to the United States, and for her spirited defense of the Kubbys’ right to stay in Canada.
The Kubbys expected to know by October if they had won official refugee status, but events in California changed the decision date, when outgoing California Governor Gray Davis signed the aptly-named Senate Bill 420 (SB420) put forward by California legislator John Vasconcellos.
The legislation purported to clear up problems associated with the state’s landmark Prop. 215 medical marijuana law, written by activists like Dennis Peron and passed by voters in 1996. SB 420 set up an identity card system and a six plant legal minimum for qualified medpot patients, but Kubby says SB420 is a clever attempt to patch over problems caused by police, prosecutor and federal disdain for Prop. 215.
Canadian government lawyers argued that the passage of SB 420 meant that Kubby was guaranteed the right to medpot while in jail or on probation, and that therefore his claim that he would die if sent back to face punishment in California was no longer relevant.
Kubby argues that the actual language of SB420 only says that medpot patients may ask that they can use marijuana as defendants, probationers, or prisoners, but that their requests can be turned down.
“There are no guarantees that I would be allowed to use the medicine that saves my life,” Kubby says. “Nor does SB 420 prevent the feds from coming in to attack me and other patients, as they have already done. It’s a sham.”
The Kubby saga will soon be documented in a book about the family, called “Reefer Refugee.”
As the Kubbys await the immigration ruling, which is expected to be announced in the next two weeks, they are busy with cultivation projects and media work. Kubby has made an instructional interactive medpot grow CD, and is soon to release a DVD version of it.
The Kubbys are also preparing to make a professional series of television shows that will be aired by Advanced Nutrients. These shows will focus on marijuana cultivation, medical marijuana, marijuana news, and politics. Kubby says his cultivation show will feature grow room footage, as well as specialty information about seed breeding, nutrients, grow room construction and design, and marijuana research.
“I’m blessed with a great wife, two fantastic kids, the support of Advanced Nutrients, and medical marijuana, which keeps me alive,” Kubby said. “As long as I’m breathing, I’m going to keep growing marijuana, and showing other people how to grow it.”
For more information: www.kubby.org