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UK: Postman Pot

Hunts Post

Wednesday 06 Dec 2006

HOME-MADE chocolate bars - each containing cannabis worth about £20 -
were being sent to multiple sclerosis sufferers across the UK to help
ease their pain, a court was told this week.

Packages containing the bars had a Huntingdon return address, and a raid
in Oldhurst, is alleged to have uncovered two sheds containing cannabis
plants and details of bank accounts containing £40,000.

Marcus Davies, 36, of Warboys Road, Oldhurst, who stood in 2004 for
election to Huntingdonshire District Council for Somersham, is standing
trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He is accused of two charges of
conspiring to supply cannabis throughout 2004 until February 2005.

His co-accused - who are both from Alston, Cumbria and face the same
charges - are gift shop manager and former school friend Mark Gibson,
42, and his wife Lezley, 42, who has MS.

The trio, members of a not-for-profit organisation, Therapeutic Help
from Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis (THC4MS), deny the charges.

On Tuesday, a jury heard that the "Canna-Biz" chocolate bars had been
discovered at the Royal Mail sorting office in Carlisle on January 25.

The depot's duty manager alerted officers after one of 33 packages fell
open. The 150g bars were found to be laced with 3.5g of cannabis.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said all the packages had a PO Box in
Huntingdon as the return address and this was later traced to Mr Davies.

He also said the wrappers were printed with a website address for
THC4MS, which was later found to be run by the defendants. The website
advertised cannabis chocolate, requesting a donation in return.

When police raided the home of Mr and Mrs Gibson, officers seized
cannabis chocolate bars, labels and packages, Mr Grout-Smith said. A
list of 460 addresses, to which the bars were being sent, were also found.

Mr Grout-Smith said: "This seems to be distribution on quite a large
scale and the defendants may have benefited financially - although the
Crown does not claim this was their main motivation."

Mr Davies told police he grew cannabis plants for his own use and for
the Gibsons, who are alleged to have supplied home-made Canna-Biz bars
by post to patients with MS, an illness that can produce intense pain.

However, supplying cannabis, even for medicinal purposes, without proper
authority is a criminal offence which carries a maximum prison sentence
of 14 years.

The trial continues.

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