Document:California Press Release 21 December 2000 Kubby Verdict a Mixed Blessing

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14547 Titus Street, Suite 214
Panorama City, CA 91402
For immediate release: December 21, 2000
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 782-8400

Libertarians: Kubby verdict a 'mixed blessing,' but Drug War goes on

PANORAMA CITY -- California Libertarians expressed a mixture of elation, disappointment, and caution following the conclusion of the medical marijuana trial of former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby and his wife Michele today.

Almost two years after their home was raided by drug agents and following a three-month trial, a hung jury of 11-1 was declared today on five counts each of possession, cultivation, and conspiracy against the Kubbys, with the majority of eleven voting for acquittal.

Steve was found guilty of two separate felony charges of possession of a controlled substance -- psilocyn and peyote -- but Michele was acquitted of both those charges.

"We are very pleased and encouraged that in a county as politically conservative as Placer, where Proposition 215 was rejected by 52% of voters, 11 jurors would vote to follow the law approved by all Californians four years ago," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle.

"There is no doubt in our minds that Steve and Michele were using medical marijuana lawfully. There is no doubt that Steve was targeted by law enforcement authorities following his high-profile gubernatorial campaign -- in which he openly testified that taking marijuana was the only thing keeping a rare form of cancer from killing him. And there is no doubt that he will eventually be completely exonerated," Hinkle said.

"We extend congratulations to Michele for her acquittal, but today's outcome is a mixed blessing. We share outrage with thousands of others over Steve's conviction on two senseless charges," Hinkle added.

"The real tragedy is that countless other Americans continue suffering due to the government's failed drug policy," Hinkle noted.

"Steve and Michele are Libertarians for life. I know they are grateful for the help, support, and guidance they have received from fellow Libertarians over the last two years," Hinkle said. "And Libertarians in turn are extremely grateful to them for putting their lives on the line for their beliefs."

Steve is scheduled for sentencing on February 2. Placer County prosecutors have not decided whether to request a retrial on the deadlocked charges. "Considering today's 11-1 outcome, they would be foolish to retry the case," Hinkle concluded. "As far as we're concerned, Steve and Michele Kubby's use of medical marijuana has been vindicated."