Libertarian politician, medical marijuana user, and author Steve Kubby has filed a landmark lawsuit accusing government officials of violating civil rights and maliciously inflicting harm on him, his wife Michele, and his children during a 1999 drug raid.
The suit was filed by a team of attorneys from the respected California law firm of Halpern and Halpern, on June 18, 2001, in Placer County Superior Court. Kubby’s complaint seeks $250 million in damages and compensation.
The document was filed as Kubby stands down Placer officials by refusing to accept terms of probation arising from misdemeanor convictions for a mushroom stem and a cacti. The misdemeanors arose out of the 1999 raid, which targeted Kubby’s med-pot grow room.
Kubby says Placer wants to jail him for refusing to pay $4500 in court costs and fines. The 53-year-old father of two faced a late July court deadline in California. As this issue went to press, Kubby was in exile in Canada. He told Cannabis Culture he is unsure if he will return to the US because he might be illegally arrested and detained.
Kubby’s lawsuit alleges that Placer officials violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, committed assault, battery, trespass and false imprisonment, deliberately inflicted emotional distress, and violated Proposition 215, the medical marijuana law that Kubby helped pass in 1996.
The suit targets sheriff Ed Bonner, District Attorney Brad Fenocchio, prosecutors Chris Cattran and Gene Geni, and lead investigator Michael Lyke. Kubby has reserved the right to sue other officials who are as yet unspecified.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer recently intervened in Kubby’s case, offering unprecedented assistance to Placer officials who want to change Kubby’s misdemeanor convictions into felonies.
“When we got arrested, we had no choice but to do what citizens of the United States are supposed to do ? vigorously and publicly defend our constitutional rights,” Kubby said in June when the lawsuit was filed. “We do not consider ourselves to be radicals, revolutionaries, martyrs or freedom fighters. What we have done seems revolutionary because so few Americans know what their rights are and so few are willing to go all the way in insisting that those rights be respected. Government officials, and especially police, have to know that if they pursue their drug war, which is a total violation of everything that America is supposed to revere, they will be held accountable. This lawsuit holds them accountable.”