Medical marijuana crusader Steve Kubby was arrested Thursday night at San Francisco Airport after spending years as a fugitive in Canada.
Kubby was arrested on a no-bail warrant and booked into San Mateo County jail, San Francisco police said.
There was an emotional farewell earlier Thursday at Vancouver International Airport as Kubby reluctantly returned to the United States to face a jail sentence.
Richard Newell Michael Acree was on the scene, and reports the following:
Kubby’s flight landed about 8:00. I got to the airport around 7:30. There were perhaps three dozen supporters, with many signs, and half a dozen TV cameras. I didn’t recognize any other Libertarians. Most of the people I spoke with hadn’t met Kubby, and knew little about him; they were activists for the cause of medical marijuana, many of them obviously with a personal interest in the issue. Kubby was traveling with his attorney, Bill McPike; it was evidently their expectation that Kubby would be allowed to remain in McPike’s custody until his hearing in Placerville on Tuesday. Instead, police met the flight at the gate and escorted Kubby downstairs, bypassing the welcoming committee and the TV cameras, and whisked him off to jail. In Redneck City–excuse me, Redwood City–not San Francisco. McPike came out and spoke with reporters and supporters. There is supposedly some sort of hearing in Red wood City this morning at 9:00, but McPike didn’t know anything about it. He is extremely soft-spoken; standing directly behind the reporters he was speaking to, I was unable to hear him at all. I hope his soft-spoken, casual manner carries tremendous power in the courtroom, if Kubby makes it that far.
The attitude of the supporters present struck me as resolutely, and incongruously, optimistic. “There must a law against what they’re doing to him. . . .” Unlimited, unalterable faith in the government to restrain itself, and not do what it wants to do most, which is to punish critics. The last time Kubby was in jail for 4 days, without access to marijuana, he nearly died. His supporters seemed convinced that the government would not allow that to happen, lest Kubby be made a martyr. I personally don’t see the government as that terrified of creating martyrs. It is true that his dying in jail would constitute pretty good proof of his claim that marijuana is what has kept him alive for the last 30 years. But that outcome could be prevented by the simple device of having wardens look the other way while other inmates took care of him, as was done with John Geoghan. I would be at least mildly surprised if Kubby had another 2 weeks to live.
Time will tell if Kubby will be the latest American to die in the hands of the drug warriors. In the mean time, I’ve heard reliable rumors that the Kubby family needs a few thousand bucks to handle some of the additional expenses relating to the arrest. Your contributions can be made out to the Kubby Defense Fund.
Update by Stephen VanDyke: Wikipedia page on Kubby has a link to this on his deteriorating health:
“I’m really sick already,” Kubby told [NORML spokesman] Gieringer by telephone said from jail. “I’m gonna start puking my brains out.” “He says his guards laughed at him when he requested Marinol. Kubby says he hasn’t had marijuana for half a day and has begun to experience all of the symptoms of his life-threatening disease — nausea, headaches, swollen kidneys. He has chills and has not been able to get a blanket from the guards,” Gieringer stated.
Commenter Richard Newell sez: “Good news – After much pain & anguish Attorney Bill McPike reports that Steve Kubby is to receive Marinol in the Placer County Jail!”
Brad Spangler writes on Marinol: Medical marijuana patients commonly describe Marinol as “ ” in its effectiveness or “only marginally effective.” It might just barely be enough to save Steve Kubby’s life, though, and get him through this ordeal.