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UK: I didn't supply drug for Cannabis-Biz bars

News and Star, Carlisle

Wednesday 13 Dec 2006

A MAN accused of helping to run a Cumbrian mail order business supplying
chocolate laced with cannabis admitted yesterday that he grew large
amounts of the drug in two sheds at his home.

But Marcus Davies, 38, said all of it was used to relieve the pain of
his diabetes – not to supply the Alston couple he worked for.

Davies – who in the late 1980s was invited to give his views to a House
of Lords investigation into the use of cannabis as a medicine – was
giving evidence at Carlisle Crown Court where he and Mark and Lezley
Gibson have all pleaded not guilty to two charges of conspiring to
supply cannabis in 2004 and 2005.

The Gibsons, who are both 42, have admitted distributing about 22,000
bars from their home in Front Street, Alston.

They say they should be found not guilty on the grounds that they acted
out of “medical necessity” by supplying the Canna-biz chocolate bars as
pain relievers only to people who could prove they were suffering from
multiple sclerosis.

In evidence yesterday Davies, who lives in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, said
the cannabis he grew to relieve his own symptoms – leg spasms, kidney
disease and eye problems that he suffered as complications from his
diabetes – was nothing to do with the Gibsons’ operation.

“What I did I did for myself,” he said.

He said he offered to set up a website promoting the benefits of
cannabis for MS sufferers only after meeting Mark Gibson at a meeting in
Norwich in about 2001.

Davies said he did not believe he was doing anything illegal because he
knew other people had been cleared of cannabis charges after using the
“medical necessity” defence.

He also knew the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and
Technology, to which he had given evidence, had recommended urgent
clinical trials to establish whether cannabis really could be used

He said that after meeting Gibson and his wife – who has told the court
she would be in a wheelchair from MS were it not for the beneficial use
of cannabis – he asked if he could have some of their cannabis chocolate
to relieve his own pain.

“They said I couldn’t have any because I hadn’t got MS,” he said.

Davies added that he had played no part in making the Gibsons’ Canna-biz
chocolate and had never been to Alston.

He said he agreed to do some of the couple’s administration work when
they set up a PO box in Huntingdon after their local police told them to
“take it out of Cumbria”.

He collected incoming orders and donations from the sorting office, paid
money into the bank, and forwarded mail on to the Gibsons in Alston –
for which he was allowed to take out enough money to cover his expenses.

But Davies, who with his wife and two children lives on £387 a week
benefits, said he had never made money from his involvement.

“I would say I actually lost out, but that is not a problem”, he said.

“Money was irrelevant.”

The trial continues.




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