By Alfa · Jul 23, 2005 · ·
  1. Alfa

    Marijuana refugee Steve Kubby is facing a return to the U.S. after losing his battle to stay in Canada.

    "We spend millions of dollars on bogus refugee claims like this every year while genuine refugees have to wait in line until after Americans get off their soapbox," said Abbotsford Tory MP Randy White after hearing of Friday's decision.

    Kubby was convicted in California four years ago of possessing peyote and a magic-mushroom stem.

    He received a 120-day sentence, which the court said he could serve at home because of his medical condition.

    Instead, he and his wife and two children fled to B.C.

    Kubby, who suffers from adrenal cancer, claims marijuana is the only drug that helps his disorder and he won't have access to it in jail.

    In 2003, the Immigration and Refugee Board found that there was no evidence that Kubby, who ran for governor of California in 1998 for the Libertarian Party, would be denied medical help in a U.S. prison and denied his application for refugee status.

    Kubby appealed to the Federal Court of Canada and on Friday, it upheld the ruling that Kubby is not a refugee.

    "How many more refugee claims will our government be entertaining from Americans wanting to avoid drug laws in the U.S.?" White asked. "The refugee board must begin to reject such applications and get on with the job of processing applications for genuine refugees."

    Kubby could not be reached for comment at his Sechelt home yesterday.

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  1. Alfa

    A marijuana fugitive says a Canadian immigration court ruling won't see him returned to the U.S. to face home imprisonment on drug charges any time soon.

    Steve Kubby, his wife and children live at Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops.

    They arrived in B.C. four years ago after he was charged in California with possession of peyote and a magic-mushroom stem.

    Kubby, who suffers adrenal cancer, claims marijuana is the only drug that helps his disorder.

    He received a 120-day sentence which the U.S. court said he could serve at home because of his medical condition.

    He is now considered to be a fugitive for failing to return to the U.S. He applied for refugee status in Canada, saying he could die if forced back to the U.S., where he cannot receive the drug he claims he needs.

    "I could be held without access to my medicine and die. I don't plan on crossing the border, even when this is all cleared up," he said.

    A Canadian federal court judge ruled Friday Kubby cannot claim refugee status and should be returned to the U.S. Kubby said the order, however, gives him 30 days to present himself to the border.

    "We have 30 days to calmly and peacefully make any arrangements we want,"

    he said.

    But Kubby said he will seek a stay of the deportation order pending a further appeal of the court's ruling. He said he believes the judgment was in error and will not survive an appeal.

    Kubby said he plans to show the most recent judgment was in error, or the law itself is unconstitutional.

    "We are headed for the Supreme Court," he said.

    Kubby said even if he loses the court battles, he still has options that could allow his family to stay in Canada, including an appeal to the federal immigration minister on humanitarian grounds.

    The issue might prove academic anyway -- Kubby said lawyers will appear in a courtroom in California next week, to argue the original conviction should be quashed.

    He said some of the evidence used by the state in its prosecution of him was manufactured.

    "The prosecutors lied to get me convicted because of my support for medical marijuana," he said. "We're in the right down there, we're in the right up here.

    "I am the victim of a political witch hunt because of my efforts to to make an exception in the (U.S.) drug war for sick people," he said.
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