Canadian Federal Judge Yvon Pinard, has “taken under advisement” the question as to whether to stay (stop) Immigration Canada’s attempt to send Steve Kubby, cancer patient and medical marijuana refugee, to die in an American jail this week. The judge said that he might decide “tomorrow” or it could be “weeks.”
Michele Kubby, who argued on behalf of her husband, said, “We are glad that the judge is at least considering the issues, but my husband is already seriously ill and the added stress of not knowing when he may rule makes things even more difficult for Steve. We need everyone’s help.”
Despite a statement by Placer County California prosecutor, Chris Cattran, that Kubby would be jailed on his return to the US, and would be sentenced to at least 120 days in jail, plus penalties for probation violation, the Immigration Ministry’s counsel, Keith Reimer, argued that there was no proof that Kubby would be arrested if he is delivered to US authorities. Cattran prosecuted Kubby in 1999 after a six month surveillance of the Kubbys’ home based solely on an anonymous letter.
Reimer also claimed that prisoners in US jails receive proper medical care, and can sue if they do not get it. Mrs. Kubby pointed out that her husband needs cannabis regularly, and no US jail allows its prisoners to have cannabis.
After the hearing, Mrs. Kubby spoke to a large group of journalists from the Canadian media. The Kubbys’ nine year-old daughter Brooke was also interviewed. The hearing was attended by Seattle lawyer Douglas Hiatt, who represented another American medical marijuana refugee, Steven Tuck, who was held for a week in Washington State jails without being given even antibiotics. Tuck was taken from a Vancouver ER in handcuffs last October and forcibly returned to the US.
Hiatt was not allowed to testify, but he did speak to the Canadian media about the conditions in US jails and prisons. He emphasized that the rights of medical marijuana prisoners are often violated, and most prisoners do not get proper medical care.
Mrs. Kubby was distressed to find herself having to explain to the court that her husband’s death would clearly constitute “irreparable harm”, while the Immigration Ministry argued that not sending Kubby to the US immediately would not be “convenient” for the Ministry.
“Considering that this was a routine request to issue a temporary stay while the court considers our motion, I have lost all remaining faith in the court system and can only plead with people who hear about our situation to call, call and call again until those Ministers who are responsible fix this legal nightmare,” said Mrs.
“Phone calls to the Ministers of Immigration, Health, Justice and Public Safety may be our only hope now,” added Mrs. Kubby.
Michele Kubby may be contacted at (250) 578-8422