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Edited by Christopher Simmons, senior news editor


Kubby Defense Fund Announces Canadian Board Ruling On Refugee Status For U.S. Medical Marijuana Users

Decision could impact U.S.-Canadian Relations

VANCOUVER, BC and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Nov. 20, 2003 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- The Kubby Defense Fund (www.kubby.org) announced today that Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board has made a final decision on whether American medical marijuana advocates Steve and Michele Kubby are entitled to permanent refugee status in Canada. The 60-page decision was officially entered on Tuesday November 18th, but must await translation into French before it is released next week.

Steve Kubby has been diagnosed with a rare form of adrenal cancer and has survived much longer than expected by using large quantities of marijuana to control its deadly symptoms. A decision against Kubby could force him back to the U.S., where he would be arrested and denied medical marijuana. A Canadian cancer specialist has testified that Mr. Kubby could die of a heart attack or stroke, in as little as 48 hours, if he is denied medical marijuana.

However, if the Board ruling is in the Kubbys' favor, it could open the door for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other U.S. citizens to seek refuge in Canada. In the past, Canada has been reluctant to offer refugee status to U.S. citizens. Only one American has ever won and that case was overturned on appeal.

Canada and the US take the 'official position' that there is no political persecution of citizens in either country, and therefore refugee status is not appropriate. However, a recently published report in the Toronto Sun revealed that sixteen Canadians have been granted refugee protection in the US, directly contradicting this official position.

The Kubbys have argued that the U.S. government's "War on Drugs" is in fact political, and that Steve Kubby, an outspoken opponent of anti-pot laws, has been singled out for persecution by both Federal and California law enforcement agencies. A national poll shows a majority of Canadians want the Kubbys to be allowed to stay in Canada.

The full story of the Kubbys' battles with the drug warriors is chronicled in a forthcoming book, REEFER REFUGEES, written by Richard Cowan, the former National Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. His book chronicles the Kubbys' battle for survival, first in the California courts and then in a Canadian refugee system designed for people fleeing Third World dictatorships.

The Kubbys' troubles began in 1998 when Steve ran for Governor of California as a Libertarian. During the campaign, he was put under investigation for six months by a multi-state and federal taskforce, based on nothing more than an anonymous letter and a DEA report that later proved to be a fraud. Even though the taskforce found no evidence of any sales during their surveillance, they raided the Kubby family home anyway, arresting Steve and his wife, leading to a two-year court battle that ended in their acquittal on the marijuana charges.

Cowan does not hide his opinions or his indignation, but he often relies on various contemporaneous media reports to tell the story. The result is a massively documented account of abuse of power by police, prosecutors, judges, and even two Attorneys General of California.

At times the story is truly bizarre. Kubby's diagnosis -- and his benefiting from marijuana -- has been confirmed by leading American and Canadian cancer specialists. Oddly, Kubby originally discovered that his symptoms could be controlled by marijuana on a tip from his old college roommate.

That would not be so surprising, except for the fact that his friend was Cheech Marin, whose partner Tommy Chong is now in a Federal prison for selling a glass pipe in Pennsylvania. Former Clinton Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey liked to call medical marijuana "Cheech and Chong medicine." He was more right than he knew.

A Preview Edition of REEFER REFUGEES has been published by the Kubby Defense Fund to provide background information to the news media.


Organization Website: www.kubby.org
Source of News: The Kubby Defense Fund

Canada Business Newswire / Health and Fitness Newswire

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