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"This is no more about Marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about Tea."

October 18, 2000 

By Steve Kubby

For years the police told us, "We don't make the laws, we just enforce them," and, "If you don't like the law, then change it." So in 1996, my friends and I put Proposition 215 on the California ballot to legalize medical marijuana, which the voters ultimately approved by a stunning 55.6 to 44.4 percent.

Unfortunately, as we soon learned, the police DO make the laws and they DON'T tolerate anyone who wants to change them. The California attorney general, sheriffs, district attorneys, police chiefs, and narcotic officers all officially denounced us and campaigned against our initiative, using public money to pay for their expenses. These law enforcement officials even went so far as to issue the following official warning in the California Voter Pamphlet regarding Prop. 215:

This initiative allows unlimited quantities of marijuana to be grown anywhere ... without any regulation or restrictions. ... It is marijuana legalization.

Although these law enforcement officials were quite clear in the ballot arguments that Prop. 215 would "legalize marijuana," once this initiative passed, these same officials pulled together to announce that Prop. 215 was "only an affirmative defense."

Outraged by law enforcement's efforts to gut 215, my friends and I decided I should run for governor and speak out publicly about this terrible assault on our American values and principles. Fortunately the Libertarian Party was anxious to help and even gave me their first-ever unanimous nomination.

From that point, I campaigned for governor of California, hounding my opponent, Attorney General Dan Lungren, faulting him as a Republican who ignored states' rights and refused to uphold the results of the election.

Trials and Tribulations

Lungren and his buddies were not amused, however, and we soon found ourselves under surveillance. We would learn later that the four agencies were investigating us based upon an unsigned letter with alleging something we were already admitting publicly, that we were growing our own medical marijuana. Our friends warned us to be careful, because the word was out that the police intended to punish us. Angry that such tactics were being used against us, we vowed to turn the tables and create the perfect test case to uphold 215 and expose these rogue police and prosecutors who were attempting to overthrow the election of 1996.

With the help of our attorneys and activist friends, we carefully documented the medical marijuana garden my wife and I had started and even sent a notice to the police, via our garbage, informing them I had cancer, that we both had doctor recommendations, and that we were growing our own medical marijuana as specifically provided by the new law. Our "trash note" even invited the police to come to our home and inspect our crop.

Although the police later admitted receiving this letter from us in our garbage, our status as bona fide patients meant nothing to them, and they continued to go through our garbage and peek through our windows until Jan. 19, 1999, when 20 heavily armed SWAT team members raided our house with laser guided assault weapons and body armor. You may wonder why such a brute show of force was required against an unarmed third-party politician and his wife attempting to lawfully assert their rights, but we can only speculate that the police were afraid we would flush our entire garden down the toilet in the few minutes gained by an armed invasion of our home.

Our garden was based upon the standards adopted by the City of Oakland, Calif., which in turn were based upon the 7.1 pounds of medical marijuana the U.S. government gives every year to each of the eight federal medical marijuana patients. Under the Oakland Guidelines, we were allowed 144 plants each, or a total of 288 indoor plants, which were expected to produce a one-year, 7-pound supply. Along the walls leading to our garden we posted a copy of 215 and the Oakland Guidelines, as well as a recent notice from the attorney general that if patients presented credible evidence of a physician's recommendation, the police should just take some samples and photos and leave the garden intact.

None of this meant anything to the police or prosecutors who arrested both my wife and me, treated us as common criminals and demanded $200,000 in bail. Suddenly we found ourselves guilty until proved innocent and stripped of virtually every protection guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to every American. Remember, we were not disobeying any law, but attempting to lawfully uphold rights won in a democratic election. Unless we defended our right to grow our own medical marijuana, as specifically granted in our new law, those cultivation rights would quickly be lost.

It's been 614 days since our arrest. Although we managed to get our bail reduced to zero, the police took virtually everything we owned, including all our office equipment used to operate our online magazine. As a result, we were forced into bankruptcy. All this time, we have also been forced to deal with my cancer and obtaining the medical marijuana that keeps me alive.

In order to defend ourselves, we have been compelled to retain eight different attorneys to defend our constitutional rights against seven different judges who tried to prevent us from using the 215 defense, because it would, "confuse the jury." For the past 560 days our family of four has been forced to live in other people's homes.

During this time we have raised and spent about $200,000 through our defense fund.

Now, after all this, we finally have the attorneys, defense and witnesses of our choice. Finally, we will be able to take this issue back to the people, just as we did on Election Day and accomplish in the jury box what was denied to us at the ballot box -- implementation of our new medical rights.

Currently we are halfway through a three month trial and we are confident that the jury already sees that we are innocent. Furthermore, everyone is beginning to see that this issue is no more about marijuana than the Boston Tea Party was about tea. This is about freedom, the Bill of Rights and using juries to force the government to obey those rights, just as Thomas Jefferson and the founders of our country intended.

Protecting Rights

In 1776, Adam Smith published a book called "The Wealth of Nations," which argued that government is, by nature, non-productive labor and functions as a parasite, sapping strength from its host. Our founders appreciated Adam Smith's views and that is one reason the Constitution and Bill of Rights were so carefully crafted to limit the scope of government. Our experience with Prop. 215 has shown us exactly how the Bill of Rights was quickly perverted by government parasites, who provide nothing of value to society and are intent only upon expanding their powers and feeding their own voracious appetites.

Only by defending the rights of each individual as MORE important than government regulations and demands, can we ensure that the state is kept in check. The Bill of Rights is clearly worded as a statement of individual rights, and the 9th and 10th Amendments were specifically added to protect the rights and powers of individuals against encroachment by government. A moral society can never be accomplished though immoral acts against those we deem as criminals, despite what the cowardly drug warriors tell us. Only when we have driven off these parasites and created a government that respects each citizen's right to be left alone, can we look forward to a truly prosperous and enlightened society.

Every important paradigm shift from the Copernicus to Darwin has ended up as a court trial; why not medical marijuana? Opening day at our trial was covered by CBS, NBC, and FOX, as well as the Sacramento Bee and Orange County Register. Our trial is allowing us to educate millions of people about medical marijuana as well as exposing corrupt law enforcement and the urgent need for each citizen to uphold and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights against all enemies -- especially those hiding behind their public offices, or badges.

The Bill of Rights is truly the greatest document ever written, because it outlines a magnificent blueprint of checks and balances for human freedom. Two centuries after it was written, we are failing miserably to follow these simple instructions and, as a consequence of our ignorance, have deprived ourselves of the true blessings of a genuinely free and open society.

What are these blessings? More than anything they are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These rights are inalienable and can never be separated from us by any law or government parasites.

The drug warriors and other useless parasites who have infected our once great nation, have had their day. Now it is our turn and we must do everything in our power to wake people up, re-ignite our freedom-loving American Revolution and restore our precious Bill of Rights.

Steve Kubby is the national director of the American Medical Marijuana Association and was the Libertarian candidate for California governor in 1998. Playing a key role in the campaign for California's medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, he has written two books about drug policy reform, "The Politics Of Consciousness" and "Why Marijuana Should Be Legal," both of which are available at

Newshawk: Amanda
Pubdate: Wed, 18 Oct 2000
Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)
Copyright: 2000,, Inc.
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Fax: (541) 597-1700
Section: Commentary
Author: Steve Kubby,
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