California Medical Marijuana Activist Seeks Refugee Status in Canada
California medical marijuana activist Steve Kubby, who fled to British Columbia after a 1999 raid on his medical marijuana garden, is seeking political refugee status in Canada and says he would face persecution and death if he were deported back to the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to Kubby, the U.S. government is working to undermine Proposition 215, which allows California residents to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes, and prosecute "anyone who attempts to show leadership on this issue." A hearing began in Vancouver yesterday to determine if Kubby, who suffers from adrenal cancer, will be granted refugee status and be allowed to stay in Canada. Kubby is representing himself in the case, which is expected to last eight days. The case "appears to be a long shot" as Canada has only granted refugee status to a U.S. citizen once, the Times reports. The case has "outraged" conservative leaders in Canada, who worry that the country, which legalized medical marijuana two years ago, will soon become "the marijuana sanctuary for every medically suffering pot smoker on the planet," according to the Times (Los Angeles Times, 3/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.