- Published in the Chilliwack Progress 8 August 2002

A 'life and death' request for a court-ordered medical marijuana exemption was adjourned for two weeks by a B.C. Supreme Court Justice in Chilliwack Tuesday.

Justice Robert Hunter also refused to order an interim exemption for Steve Kubby.

Mr Kubby is a U.S. marijuana activist who claims the drug is the only thing that has kept him from dying of cancer.

"Without an exemption to allow Mr. Kubby to use medical marijuana, in my submission it will endanger his life," Defence Lawyer Dale Pedersen told the court.

"If he's not allowed to use medical marijuana, his adrenal glands are going to start pumping adrenaline into his system - and even a minimal amount could kill him," said Dale Pedersen.

But federal crown counsel Peter Kennedy suggested the two-week adjournment to Aug. 19 would not affect Mr. Kubby's health, according to medical evidence submitted to the court, and that he would not in any case be "deprived" of his marijuana.

"There's nothing about use affected (by the adjournment)," he said.

But Dale Pedersen said his client, already charged with growing marijuana in his Sechelt home, does not have a "stable source" and the court delay would force him to obtain the drug illegally - and possibly be arrested again.

"I'm not sure if the Crown is condoning (the illegal purchase)," Dale Pedersen said.

This is the second adjournment requested by the federal Crown since the case came to the Chilliwack court last month.

Mr. Kennedy in his submission for the adjournment also noted the defendant's legal status in Canada has not yet been determined. Mr. Kubby, a 55-year-old California resident, moved to Canada in May 2001 and is now seeking political refugee status here.

Justice Hunter refused to order the exemption Tuesday, or to grant an interim order as requested by Mr. Kubby's lawyer. "I'm not prepared to make that order today," he said.

"You're putting my husband's life in danger," Michelle Kubby, angrily told the Justice, whose decision was made before her husband and a small group of supporters had returned to the courtroom.

"The court told me to go out and break the law for two weeks," Mr. Kubby said later outside the courtroom. "I'm astounded by that."

He said marijuana compassion clubs do not stock enough of the drug to meet his needs of nearly one pound per month. In April police seized 154 plants growing in his Sechelt home, which led to his arrest.

A Chilliwack man, who is also seeking a medical marijuana exemption, and recently opened the Holy Smoke Healing Center Society compassion club in downtown Chilliwack, was also not in the courtroom when his case was adjourned to Sept.3.

But earlier he sat in the courtroom, grim-faced and choking back tears, after a spectator outside had accused him of faking his medical condition.

The Chilliwack man, who has been seeking a marijuana exemption from Health Canada for nearly two years, said he was recently informed his condition is now terminal.

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