U.S. 'Reefer Refugee' Loses Asylum Claim in Canada

U.S. 'Reefer Refugee' Loses Asylum Claim in Canada
Posted by CN Staff on December 08, 2003 at 15:21:00 PT
By Allan Dowd
Source: Reuters
Vancouver, British Columbia -- A Canadian immigration panel refused political asylum on Monday to a marijuana advocate who says he fled the United States to escape persecution in the "War on Drugs."Steve Kubby, an unsuccessful California gubernatorial candidate, had argued he was a political target of the police because of his outspoken views in favor of medical marijuana and against U.S. anti-drug laws.
"What Mr Kubby alleges does not amount to persecution," Immigration and Refugee Board member Paulah Dauns wrote in dismissing Kubby's application -- along with those of his wife and two young children.Kubby, 56, is among a handful of "reefer refugees" who have moved to Canada in recent years to escape U.S. drug laws -- a movement they liken to the draft dodgers who fled the United States in opposition to the Vietnam War.Canada allows the medical use of marijuana and has even supplied government-grown pot for people with illnesses such as AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis.Kubby began smoking pot in the 1980s to offset the effects of cancer and was active in the campaign that led to California's Proposition 215 in 1996, making marijuana legal for treating some sick people.He was the Libertarian Party's gubernatorial candidate in California in 1998.Kubby was convicted on drug procession charges in Placer County, California, in 2001, but moved to Canada before serving his sentence of house arrest. He now lives in Sechelt, British Columbia, north of Vancouver.Kubby argued in his refugee hearing that his need for marijuana was the same as a diabetic who requires insulin to stay alive. He claimed his life would be threatened if he was returned to the United States and denied the drug.Dauns ruled it appeared pot was helping Kubby cope with his cancer symptoms, but it was unclear if it was actually keeping him alive. She noted that he would have access to the drug under the California law he helped pass."He argues that a medical marijuana patient should be protected from persecution. What he has demonstrated is that in fact, they are," Dauns wrote in her nearly 60-page decision.Dauns noted that the U.S. federal government has opposed state medical marijuana laws, but Kubby had failed to show the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had any special interest in prosecuting him.Marijuana is a touchy issue in U.S.-Canada relations, with White House drug czar John Walters warning that Ottawa's plan to decriminalize procession of small amounts of pot could lead to tighter security on the border.Marijuana growing is estimated by police and advocates to to be worth more than C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) annually in British Columbia, with most of the potent "B.C. Bud" eventually sold in the United States.Source: Reuters UKAuthor: Allan DowdPublished: December 8, 2003Copyright: Reuters Limited Related Articles & Web Sites:The Kubby Defense Fund Drug War Refugees Advocate Denied Refugee Status in Canada To Decide Status of Medical Pot Advocate
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Comment #6 posted by DeVoHawk on December 08, 2003 at 16:53:20 PT
Very Strange
"but Kubby had failed to show the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had any special interest in prosecuting him"Who cares what specific government group takes a special interest in targeting the Kubby's? Does this mean it is ok for John Asscraft to go after the Kubby's since he does not work for the DEA? Did they miss the whole Ed Rosenthal debacle? Are the Kubby's to be prisoners of California?Paulah Dauns heart "is 2 sizes small". Shame on you Paulah Dauns.The Kubby's are too good to be put through this BS. I hope the Canadian Supreme court uses this heartless decision as the straw that breaks prohibitions back.After the shock wears off I must focus my negetive thoughts into positive actions until I die or prohibition dies.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on December 08, 2003 at 16:45:43 PT
President Kucinich will end this in the future.
& In case You haven't heard: Kucinich put in writing that as president He will: 
"decriminalize marijuana" -"in favor of a drug policy that sets reasonable boundaries for marijuana use by establishing guidelines similar to those already in place for alcohol." 
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on December 08, 2003 at 16:24:11 PT
they came for Steve Kubby
but I don't have to speak up. They'll never come for me or you or anyone else. He's alone in his plight. He has never been persecuted. This is all just a pigment of anyone's imagination. Steve is just one person who just has had some bad luck with the judicial system in America. No one else has these kinds of problems, so why worry about Steve Kubby? Why bother with all of this hullabaloo?Everybody else has life, liberty and happiness, so if Steve Kubby doesn't, what does it matter?The government we have is good enough, don't cha think?Rush ain't worried. All is well. Well, maybe.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 08, 2003 at 16:23:56 PT
Link To The Ruling
Martha-FYI...Bad news... Kubby's refugee status denied... Decision is now online in English. You may wish to post it on Cnews.-PaulDate: Mon, 08 Dec 2003 Subject: Breaking news: Canada denies Steve Kubby asylum for med mjBad news for our American friends in Canada... St. Pierre NORML Foundation
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Comment #2 posted by Treeanna on December 08, 2003 at 16:08:49 PT
Hope he tries over in Holland next. :(This is bad news for all of us.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 08, 2003 at 15:49:52 PT
When Do They Need To Come Back Here?
I hope Steve is well enough to handle this. I feel so bad for the whole family.
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