Saturday, February 04, 2006

Saturday Evening Post - A Steve Kubby Update has some new information up on Steve Kubby's current situation, the reasoning behind the withdrawal of his request to use marijuana instead of Marinol and the worsening situation with access to medication.

Michele just called me with some information.

Steve is not going after the use of the whole plant instead of Marinol. The reason for this is because in order to actually receive the whole plant, he would have to say that the Marinol was not working at all. Since the Marinol is controlling his Blood Pressure, Steve would have to purger himself in order to get the whole plant.

Placer was going to argue that the Marinol was working and that he could keep using it instead of receiving the whole plant. He didn't want to lie and open that can of worms, so he just decided to drop the motion.

However, there are more important things right now.

Steve has 6 more days of medicine left. A company in Canada has volunteered to send some medicine to Michele for Steve to be able to use while incarcerated, but it has not arrived yet. The jail is not going to provide Marinol to Steve, an Michele does not have the money to obtain the amounts needed for Steve.

If you know of a Cancer Foundation that can help Steve get the medicine he needs and the proper treatment, please email me right away at and I will get in touch with them to see what they might be able to do for Steve.


Steve called from the Placer County Jail today, but wasn't allowed much time on the phone. Below is what he had the chance to say:

He says to tell you that he is doing OK and wants to make sure everyone knows his good news. The bleeding has stopped and his blood pressure has come under control.

Steve told me that he is more determined than ever to fight for medical marijuana for all the patients like himself that is need of cannabis.

He also said he is working on putting a statement together for all of you to read. So as soon as I have it, you will too. That is all he had time to tell me due to the time restraints he was given by the deputies for the phone call.

So, while Mr. Kubby is obtaining some relief from the Marinol he will soon run out and the "authorities" apparently have no intentions of renewing his prescription. Looks like a case of one step forward and two step back. Considering that Steve Kubby has to wait till the 15th of February for his next court date, (11 days away, as I wrote this) he will likely be back in jeopardy again soon unless something is done. Heck of a situation for a former Libertarian governors candidate.

During the last week I had the opportunity to interview a couple of people via email concerning Mr. Kubby's condition, treatment and the situation in general. One person from the front lines of the fight for medical marijuana is Beth Soloe, the new Executive Director for Indiana NORML, (welcome aboard, Beth!!).

Mr. Kubby is currently being held and given access only to the synthetic drug Marinol, rather than medical marijuana. Given the legality of marijuana as medicine in California are the authorities doing what they should to insure Mr. Kubby's welfare?

In short, no, they are not. This is a horrible thing for anyone to go through, and my heart goes out to Mr. Kubby and his family. My prayers will be with them in their time of need. It's not uncommon however for jails and prisons all over the country to refuse to give patients the medications they need. I can't count the times I've seen people get sicker and even die in prison who were witheld their medicines.. or given different medications then what their doctors prescribed. These range from diabetes medications to antiseizure medications to blood pressure medications. This isn't the first time, and probably wont be the last, until something is done to ensure all prisoners get the medications prescribed to them by their doctors.

Do you see the current situation with Mr Kubby's deportation from Canada and denial of refugee status as a blow of any sort to the medical marijuana movement? Do you think that pressure to deny Mr. Kubby sanctuary in Canada may have been exerted by the government of the US, given their recent stance on Marc Emery and other marijuana advocates?

I am very discouraged by the US's insistence on making it hard for Canada, one of our closest allies, to govern their own people in the way they see fit. It is very possible this move was made to appease the US Government and try to discourage any sanctions on Canada. But I don't see it as a drawback for the medical marijuana cause. While I see it as the most horrible way possible to get our point accross, it will in the long run only serve to help us and do just the opposite of what med mj opposers are trying to accomplish. I see it as an opportunity for us to fight and have our case heard. I see it as an opportunity for the media to enlighten the masses on how serious this problem really is. And I see it as an opportunity to gain even wider support that will lead to a change in federal policy. Mr. Kubby has become a martyr, unfortunately not by his own choosing, but a martyr none the less.

Can you make a general statement concerning Mr. Kubby's case and it's implications, if any for NORML and medical marijuana users? Do you think that the Kubby case will have any effect on the outlook for change in the marijuana policies outside of California? Perhaps in Indiana?

This has huge implications for medical marijuana users. The outcome of this incident will no doubt cause legal actions to be taken to ensure that California jails and prisons are required by law to give patients the medicines that are prescribed by their doctors. This is good news for all medical marijuana users in California in the future. I have faith in the California people to stand up for what's right and force government to do the right thing, as they have always done.
The impact on NORML and Indiana in general is a bit more vague. But the attention the case is getting will hopefully bring more memberships.. and light a fire under the people in other states to follow suit with California and 10 other states to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in their own back yards.
In Indiana we are not a initiative state, which means we cannot propose leglislation through initiatives and they must come from the leglislature. We are currently working on writing a bill in Indiana and finding a leglislature to submit this bill to the General Assmebly on our behalf. This has been a tough road.. but we will prevail.

Special thanks to Beth for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

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