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UK: Grandmother who cooked with cannabis denies possession
Monday 05 Mar 2007
A 68-year-old grandmother who "passionately" believes in using cannabis
to relieve pain went before a judge and jury today charged with growing
and possessing the drug.
Patricia Tabram: Grandmother 'showed raid officers where cannabis was kept
Patricia Tabram denies one count of possession and one of cultivating
Tabram cooperated with police when they raided her home in the sleepy
village of Humshaugh, near Hexham, in September 2005, and directed
officers to a bedroom where cannabis plants were growing in a wardrobe.
She also told police there was powdered cannabis stored in jars in her
kitchen to be used in cooking, the court heard.
During the raid, police seized four plants, growing equipment and the
powdered form of the drug which the prosecution claims was for her
Tom Moran, prosecuting, told Carlisle Crown Court: "Mrs Tabram is
somebody who passionately believes in the use of cannabis as a way of
"She says she suffers symptoms from various unfortunate health problems
that are, she says, not alleviated by conventional medicine.
"She believes she should be able to take cannabis to do what
conventional medicine cannot do." Tabram is believed to use the drug to
alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, whiplash and depression.
Mr Moran reminded the jury of six men and six women that they were not
there to debate legalisation of cannabis, however.
He said: "You are not here to debate whether the law should be changed,
you are here to apply the law as it stands at the moment."
Sgt Alan Clement was part of the police raid. Under cross-examination by
Tabram, who is defending herself, he admitted she had asked him to seize
the contents of her freezer.
He said: "I cannot remember exactly this conversation but it would be to
the effect we were not going to take food out of your freezer."
The pensioner replied: "The reason I asked you to please take it was, I
believe, if you had gone back to the police station with 22 boxes of
curries, casseroles, biscuits, cake and ice cream, this would have
proved to the Crown Prosecution Service that I only use cannabis to cook."
There was a ripple of laughter in the courtroom when the defendant
pointed out that a police statement read out by the prosecution was
dated September 11, 2005, five days before the raid took place.
The prosecution said it will investigate why the document was wrongly dated.
The case was adjourned until tomorrow morning.
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