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UK: 22,000 bars - choc full of cannabis

The Metro

Wednesday 06 Dec 2006

A couple ran a cottage industry making cannabis chocolate bars to ease
the pain of multiple sclerosis sufferers, a court heard.

Mark and Lezley Gibson sold 22,000 bars from home in six years before
they were arrested.

They were helped by Marcus Davies, an old school friend of Mr Gibson,
who ran a post office box address.

The Gibsons, both 42, and Davies, 36, deny two counts of conspiring to
supply cannabis.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said police took action after 33
packets of chocolate labelled 'Canna-biz' were found at a Royal Mail
sorting office in Carlisle on January 25 last year.

At the Gibsons' home, officers discovered supplies of cannabis,
chocolate bars, labels and mailing lists. Davies was also cultivating
cannabis plants in two sheds, jurors were told.

Mr Grout-Smith said the Gibsons, from the remote market town of Alston
in Cumbria, advertised their bars as being for medical purposes.

They were not conventional drug dealers, he said, but believed their
actions would alleviate the pain of people with a debilitating illness.
But he added: 'To supply cannabis because you believe it is doing good
is no defence.'

Mark Gibson claimed they had always sought proof that the recipients
were MS sufferers, Mr Grout-Smith said.

His wife is an MS sufferer and both he and Davies had stood in elections
as candidates for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance.

All are members of non-profit organisation Therapeutic Help from
Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis.

Supplying cannabis, even for medicinal purposes, without authority is an
offence which carries a jail term of up to 14 years. The trial continues
at Carlisle Crown Court.

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