Medical marijuana pioneer freed from jail |

Medical marijuana pioneer freed from jail

SACRAMENTO (AP) – Medical marijuana pioneer Steve Kubby, who was forced to return to the U.S. from Canada earlier this year, has been freed from jail after serving a third of his four-month sentence for drug possession, officials said.

Kubby, who has used marijuana for three decades to treat a rare form of adrenal cancer, was released after 40 days for good behavior and because of a need to reduce crowding under a federal court order, Placer County jail officials said.

Kubby fled to Canada following his 2001 conviction in Placer County for possession of the hallucinogen mescaline, found in peyote, and a psychedelic mushroom. He repeatedly sought refugee status, claiming he was persecuted for his advocacy of medical marijuana use. A Canadian court rejected his appeals in January.

He lost 25 pounds in jail but said he gained respect for his jailers and the medical staff that treated him.

“I realized the taunting and skepticism about my condition that I experienced when I was first jailed here in 1999 was not present with any of the jail staff this time,” said Kubby, a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in 1998 and early backer of California’s watershed 1996 medical marijuana initiative.

Kubby’s blood pressure soared after he was sent to jail, and medical marijuana activists worried he would die without access to marijuana. But his condition stabilized after be began using Marinol, a legal, synthetic form of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient.

Kubby, who is married with two children, still faces a March 14 hearing for failing to appear at his original sentencing five years ago.

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