Document:California Press Release 2 March 2001 Libertarians Hail Outcome of Kubby Sentencing

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14547 Titus Street, Suite 214
Panorama City, CA 91402
For immediate release: March 2, 2001
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 782-8400

Libertarians hail outcome of Steve Kubby sentencing

AUBURN -- In a decisive victory for medical marijuana patients, the judge in the trial of Steve and Michele Kubby today reduced the two convictions against Steve from felonies to misdemeanors, and ruled that Steve could continue to use medical marijuana as allowed under California law -- decisions hailed by Libertarians, the state party announced.

"We are thrilled with the outcome of today's hearing," declared Libertarian state executive director Juan Ros, who was present in the Auburn courtroom. "This is a major step forward for all medical marijuana patients, and Libertarians are proud of Steve and Michele Kubby, who fought for their beliefs and prevailed."

At today's hearing, Judge John L. Cosgrove reduced the two felony convictions against Steve -- possession of a mushroom stem and possession of a minute quantity of peyote -- to misdemeanors, causing Kubby supporters in the courtroom to erupt in cheers. Steve was placed on three years' probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,700. He is also subject to electronic home monitoring for 120 days.

But in an extraordinary victory for medical marijuana patients, Cosgrove ruled that Steve could continue using medical marijuana during his probation. Immediately following that ruling, Deputy District Attorney Chris Cattran filed a motion to dismiss all remaining charges against Steve and Michele, thereby avoiding a costly retrial and finally ending the Kubbys' ordeal.

"That the judge is allowing Steve to continue using medical marijuana is an enormous breakthrough," Ros added. "The District Attorney saw the writing on the wall and wisely decided to save the taxpayers the expense of a retrial. All in all, this has been a great day for patients, Libertarians, and the cause of health freedom in California."

Libertarian state chairman Aaron Starr commented, "On behalf of the 95,000 California Libertarians, I thank Steve and Michele Kubby for their courage, their honesty, and their commitment to the cause of liberty and freedom for patients suffering everywhere. They deserve nothing but congratulations and gratitude -- and some well-deserved rest."

Steve Kubby, the 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for governor of California, was arrested along with his wife Michele in January 1999 during a raid of their home. The Kubbys were charged with a combined 19 counts, most dealing with their use of medical marijuana. Steve suffers from a rare form of adrenal cancer, while Michele suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. Both Kubbys had obtained physician recommendations to use medical marijuana as required under California's Compassionate Use Act.

Last December the jury in the Kubby trial deadlocked 11-1 on the medical marijuana charges. Michele was acquitted of the two remaining charges against her.

Concluded Ros, "Steve and Michele Kubby were victims of a politically motivated attempt to make examples of them, and this trial should never have happened in the first place. Fortunately we have won this battle, but the war wages on and Libertarians will continue to fight until we are victorious against the War on Drugs."