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UK: Cannabis chocs ease MS pain

The Dispatch (South Africa)

Saturday 09 Dec 2006

MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferers around the world swore by the chocolate
bars made at Mark and Lezley Gibson’s gift shop in the Lake District in
north west England.

The couple sent out about 22000 of their bars and made no secret on
their website of the special ingredient that made them so popular.

But that ingredient was to lead the Gibsons into the dock at Carlisle
Crown Court this week, where both are accused of conspiring to supply
cannabis. Along with a family friend, Marcus Davies, 36, they set up the
campaign group Therapeutic Help from Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis and
on their website,, offered their “Canna-Biz” chocolate
bars, the court was told.

Lezley Gibson, who suffers from MS, her 42-year-old husband and Davies
made no secret of their campaign to legalise cannabis for therapeutic
pain relief.

They made no charge, but there was a request that each “buyer” establish
that they were an MS sufferer and that they make a donation to meet
production costs.

Over a period throughout 2004 and up to February last year, about 22000
of the 150g bars were dispatched, each one of them laced with 3,5g of
cannabis. A mailing list with 460 addresses was later found by police.

Mark Gibson and his wife, from Alston, Cumbria, along with Davies, from
St Ives, Cambridgeshire, eastern England, who is said to have operated a
post office box address for the cottage industry, deny the conspiracy
charges against them.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, for the prosecution, told the jury that while the
trio might be well intentioned, they had no defence against the charges
which carry a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

“To supply cannabis, even if you believe it is doing some good, is not a
defence,” he said.

During a police interview, Gibson admitted sending 22000 bars to
addresses around the world.

But first they had sought proof that the recipients were MS sufferers.

The trial, expected to last seven days, continues.




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