REFUSAL TO
ACCEPT PROBATION

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

March 21, 2001

Norma Suzuki
Chief Probation Officer
11564 C Avenue, DeWitt Center
Auburn, CA 95603 
Phone: 530-889-7900 
Fax: 530-889-7950
Probation Email (prodept@placer.ca.gov)

RE: Refusal to agree to terms of probation

Dear Ms. Suzuki,

After several weeks of attempting to qualify for alternative sentencing, I find that I am unable to physically, financially, or morally complete electronic monitoring, probation, or payment of any fines assessed against me.  At the time I was offered probation, I believed I could comply.  However, as I found out the extent of the restrictions and the cost, my wife and I came to the decision that our family could not survive and I would be under even more threat than before, if I were to accept the terms of probation. 

This letter is to inform you that if I do not find judicial relief, I intend to show up for my jail date April 10th, 2001.  Below are the details of the reasons for my decision:

I refuse to pay the fine or probation fines that have been ordered, because the police and prosecutors bankrupted my family by falsely arresting me for growing medical marijuana. Because I cannot grow marijuana, I am forced to spend thousands of dollars each month on the black market, just to stay alive.

I refuse to agree to house arrest, because I cannot find a house in which to serve my arrest.  My wife and I were forced into bankruptcy by this raid, after a lifetime of excellent credit.  Now, nobody wants to rent to us since we are unemployed and have bad credit. This leaves us no alternative but to send my wife and the two small children, back to British Columbia, where we have a home, business and friends. Thus, I would be forced to serve out my home detention on my own, without my family or caretaker/wife.

Under the terms of electronic monitoring, I would only be allowed 2 hours a week to go out and shop. Without a caregiver and car, I can't do that, because I need such a specialized diet. Also, I would be unable to exercise each day, as required by my illness in order to avoid dangerous or lethal buildups of adrenaline. (My doctors have testified under oath that I could drop dead at any time from a stroke or heart attack, so these heath concerns are no small matter.)

I refuse to serve three years of formal probation, because I've learned that a person on probation has no rights, and it would only be a matter of time before a medical pot patient like me would be visited by police exercising their "right" to a warrantless probation search. 

Despite proving myself innocent of all marijuana charges, I believe that my wife and I have never received justice or protection for lawfully asserting rights we helped to win in an open democratic election. Instead, probation would place a suffocating layer of hoops and threats upon us, which further endangers me and my family. 

I believe that sentencing me, when I am medically disabled and suffering from terminal cancer, two conditions that threaten my life, for misdemeanor possession of a mushroom stem and some tiny cactus buttons, not only needlessly endangers me and burdens my family, such a sentence is a violation of my Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. 

As a result of my decision, I am hereby notifying the Placer County Probation Department that I refuse to agree to any of the terms for my probation electronic monitoring, or the payment of any fines.

I have spoken to Terry Franchimone, your Probation Manager regarding these issues.  Mr. Franchimone was actually very understanding and helpful.  After some discussion of the matter, I told Mr. Franchimone that I intend to bring a motion in front of Judge John L. Cosgrove to spell out these issues.  Because we are broke, I will have to write and present the motion myself.  However, I am optimistic. 

In fairness to Judge Cosgrove, the prosecutors in our case withheld their decision to request a full dismissal of all marijuana charges until after the judge gave his sentence.  If the Placer County District Attorney is now saying that the marijuana charges cannot be prosecuted, I'm going to ask the judge to throw out my convictions, because the police had no business being in my house to begin with.

It seems to me that if we were lawfully asserting rights, for a law we helped to pass, and the District Attorney has failed to show any marijuana crime ever took place, accepting any form of probation would be a violation of everything we and this country stands for. 

Finally, I refuse to comply with the terms of probation, because of my profound belief that the threat of jail is being held over my head to 
coerce me into "voluntary compliance" with a criminal justice system that is broken. 

The law that my wife and I helped pass was easy enough for the voters of California and the jurors of Placer County to understand.  Only narcotics officers, prosecutors, and others who benefit from the drug war have difficulty understanding a law that grants new rights.  I find it amazing how difficult it is for people to understand something when their careers depend upon them NOT understanding it.

I understand that I have until April 10th to comply with sentencing instructions and that after that, I will be "subject to immediate arrest, imprisonment and denial of any medical marijuana."

Naturally my wife and I find such prospects distressing, especially since my life is on the line, but we will continue to stand on our principles and Constitutional rights. I wrote a book called 'The Politics of Consciousness,' that salutes the courageous people who helped fight tyranny during the early days of the American Revolution. My final statement about refusing probation is best summed up by words uttered centuries ago by one of those early Americans who gave their life to defeat tyrants: 

"Give me liberty, or give me death."
 

Let freedom grow,
 

Steve Kubby

Cc: Sheriff Ed Bonner
Frank Wolff, KCRA Sacramento
Matt Robinson, FOX News
Eric Baily, Los Angeles Times
Alan Bock, Orange County Register
Wayne Wilson, Sacramento Bee
Henri Lee, San Francisco Chronicle
Tom Elias, Washington Times
Deric Roth, Auburn Journal
Joel Miller, WorldNetDaily
And other distinguished members of the media.