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UK: Cannabis chocolate bars 'supplied to MS sufferers'
Yorkshire Post Today
Wednesday 06 Dec 2006
Homemade chocolate bars each containing cannabis with a street value of
around £20 were supplied by post to multiple sclerosis sufferers for
pain relief, a court heard yesterday.
Gift shop manager Mark Gibson, 42, and his wife Lezley, 42, who has MS,
both from Alston, Cumbria, and Marcus Davies, 36, from St Ives,
Cambridgeshire, "made no secret" of their involvement in such activity
to police, Carlisle Crown Court was told.
But the trio deny two charges each of conspiring together to supply
cannabis throughout 2004, until February 2005.
Police seized 33 jiffy bags containing "Canna-Biz" chocolate bars from
the Royal Mail sorting office in Carlisle on January 25 this year.
The depot's duty manager alerted officers after one of the packages fell
open as it was being sorted, spilling out one of the 150g bars, later
found to be each laced with 3.5g of cannabis.
Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, told the court all the packages had a
PO Box in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, as the return address, which was
later traced to Marcus Davies.
He also said bar wrappers were printed with a website address of an
organisation called Therapeutic Help from Cannabis for Multiple
Sclerosis, www.thc4ms.org, which was later found to be run by all three
He added that the website advertises a service supplying cannabis
chocolate "for medicinal purposes" but "only requests a donation" in return.
Police raided the home of Mark and Lezley Gibson in Alston in February.
Mr Grout-Smith said: "They seized cannabis chocolate bars, labels and
packages. They also found some machinery for the manufacture of the bars
– pots, pans, and a grinder – all to be used in what was really a
cottage industry to make chocolate bars impregnated with cannabis.
"When analysed, they were found to contain 3.5g of cannabis each, ground
up and distributed throughout the 150g bar."
A list of 460 addresses to which the bars were being sent were also
found at the Gibson's house.
The court heard Davies' house in Cambridgeshire was searched by officers
on June 8 this year.
Two sheds containing cannabis plants and equipment to cultivate them
were also found at Davies' home, along with "items connecting him to the
Gibsons", the prosecution said.
The trial is expected to last seven days.
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