Medical Marijuana: Steve Kubby Freed From Jail -- Lost 25 Pounds in Six Weeks 3/10/06

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Steve Kubby walked out of the Placer County Jail in Auburn, California, Monday after serving 40 days of a 120-day sentence. The pioneering medical marijuana activist began serving a sentence his doctor said could kill him after being deported from Canada, where he and his family had gone after he was convicted of possession of a dried psychedelic mushroom stem and a peyote button -- a last-gasp prosecution by prosecutors who had failed to bring down the brash activist with a marijuana raid on his home.

According to Placer County officials, Kubby was released early for good behavior and because the overcrowded jail was under court order to keep the population down.

Kubby uses marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of a rare form of adrenal cancer, and his doctors feared Placer County's refusal to allow him to use marijuana -- a legal medicine in California -- could have grave effects on his health. In his first days behind bars, Kubby's health deteriorated, with rising blood pressure and blood appearing in his urine. But Kubby tried Marinol, the synthetic cannabinoid drug recognized as a drug under federal law, and it moderated his symptoms.

While Kubby and his supporters had initially been highly skeptical of the will of Placer County officials to treat his condition, he had nothing but good words for the jail and its staff when he was released. "I realized the taunting and skepticism about my condition that I experienced when I was first jailed here in 1999 was not present with any of the jail staff this time," Kubby told the Los Angeles Times. "I realized that these guys were getting heat over me, and they didn't deserve it."

Kubby told the newspaper he and his family planned to return to the South Tahoe Lake area to restart their lives, and that he intended to continue using medical marijuana. "The sooner I get the whole plant the better," Kubby said. "You can't argue with 30 years of medical success."

But while Kubby is out from behind bars, he's not quite a free man just yet. He must reappear in court March 14 to face a probation violation for failing to return from Canada for sentencing for fear he would not have access to his medicine if jailed in Placer County.

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Issue #426 -- 3/10/06

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Feature: Five Years On, California's Proposition 36 Claims Success, But Faces New Struggles | Feature: Pilot Methadone Maintenance Program for Jail Inmates Off to Good Start, New Mexico Officials Say | Web Site: A Friendly Reminder About the Drug War Chronicle Archives Page -- New Marijuana-Only Archives Now Available Too | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Methamphetamine: Federal Bill Passes as Part of USA Patriot Act | Methamphetamine: SAMHSA Release Misleads on Treatment Numbers, Press Bites | Medical Marijuana: Steve Kubby Freed From Jail -- Lost 25 Pounds in Six Weeks | Canada: Another Week, Another Attack on the Cannabis Industry | Europe: Edinburgh "Drug Czar" Says Time to Consider Prescribing Heroin | Africa: Morocco's Campaign Against Hashish Growing Has Peasants Grumbling, Protesting | Southwest Asia: Afghan Opium Crop to Expand This Year, UN Says | The Debate: Reformers and a Prohibitionist Respond to Favorable Wall Street Journal Editorial | Media Scan: Reformers and UN Drug Chief Debate on the BBC This Weekend | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opening: Communications Assistant, Drug Policy Alliance, New York | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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