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Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Auburn Journal
Contact: Jessica Towhey <jessicat@goldcountrymedia.com>
Address: 1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Author: Jessica R. Towhey, Journal Staff Writer
Phone: (530) 885-6585, ext. 143
Note: This story also ran prominently on KCRA TV, the largest station in
Northern California.

By Jessica R. Towhey, Journal Staff Writer

The unmistakable aroma of pot wafted through the air outside a North Auburn
courtroom Tuesday as a small group of medical marijuana users smoked on a
grassy patch a short stroll away from the Placer County District Attorney's

Led by Steven Kubby, a former gubernatorial candidate who with his wife
Michele faces 19 criminal counts of growing marijuana for sale, six persons
holding physicians' recommendations lit up joints in a demonstration that
provoked no reaction from law enforcement.

Kubby said before the exhibition he was prepared for the possibility of
being arrested for asserting his rights under the law to smoke marijuana for
medicinal purposes. Four years ago, state voters approved by a 55-45 percent
margin the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows seriously ill
Californians to possess and smoke marijuana with the recommendation of a

Joining Kubby were Jane Weirick, director of St. Martin's Dispensary in San
Francisco, and Florida resident Elvy Musikka, one of only eight people in
the country enrolled in a federal medical marijuana program.

"Medicate, guys!" Michele Kubby, who did not participate in the
demonstration, said to her husband and friends as each inhaled from joints
that closely resembled cigarettes in shape and size.

Before striking a match, Steven Kubby said he planned the demonstration to
educate the public as to the medicinal properties of the illicit drug. Kubby
was diagnosed 20 years ago with malignant pheochromocytoma, a rare form of
adrenal cancer that causes the adrenaline in his body to rise to
life-threatening levels.

Kubby said he has tried conventional medical treatments, but claims only
marijuana holds the symptoms of the cancer in check. To that end, Kubby
maintains he must smoke roughly every hour and a half.

Federal program enrollee Musikka, who lost an eye to conventional treatment
for glaucoma 24 years ago, said she receives upwards of 10 joints a day from
a pharmacy contracted to provide the Schedule 1 drug. She said she prefers
to smoke just half the amount she receives, though, saving the rest for her

"This is my medicine," she said, extending a large pill bottle filled with
joints roughly a quarter inch thick and about 4 inches long.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gene Gini, one of two county attorneys
prosecuting the Kubbys, declined to comment on the political exercise
because of the pending litigation. However, prosecutors have argued the 265
marijuana plants confiscated from the couple's Olympic Valley home last
January were intended for sale. Prosecutors content that part of the proof
is contained in personal bank account records that show an influx of more
than $100,000 in mostly cash with few checks over 18 months, prosecutors

Additionally, investigators in the case have connected Jeff Jones of the
Oakland Buyers' Cooperative to the checks.

The Kubbys have denied all allegations of criminal activity.