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UK: Choc bars were laced with drug

Cambridge Evening News

Wednesday 06 Dec 2006

HOMEMADE chocolate bars containing cannabis with a street value of
around £20 were supplied by post to multiple sclerosis sufferers for
pain relief, a court heard yesterday (Tuesday, 05 December).

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, "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 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, which was later found to be run by all three

He said 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

"They also found some machinery for the manufacture of the bars - pots,
pans, and a grinder - all to be used in what was 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 was also found
at the Gibson's house.

The court heard Davies' house in St Ives was searched by officers in June.

Details were found of three bank accounts, registered in the name of his
girlfriend, into which around £40,000 of cheques had been paid between
March 2003 and March 2005.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

? Have you tried a cannabis chocolate bar? Contact the newsdesk on
(01223) 434439 or email newsdesk@cambridgenews.

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