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UK: Cannabis chocolate trio convicted

BBC News

Friday 15 Dec 2006

Three people have been found guilty of supplying thousands of
cannabis-laced chocolate bars to multiple sclerosis sufferers for pain

Mark Gibson and his wife Lezley, both 42, of Alston, Cumbria, were
standing trial at Carlisle Crown Court with Marcus Davies, 36, of St
Ives, Cambs.

They were convicted of two counts each of conspiring to supply cannabis
throughout 2004 until February 2005.

All three were ordered to return to court on 26 January for sentencing.

The Cumbrian couple admitted running a cottage industry making and
posting out more than 20,000 Canna-Biz bars containing about 3.5g of the
drug, to victims of the disease around the world.

But in their testimonies they both insisted this was a free service
funded by voluntary donations, which was only available to MS sufferers
who provided a medical note confirming their condition.

Davies admitted running a website and post office box, but had denied
any involvement in making or posting the chocolate.

Cash receipts totalling £30,000 were seized by police, but the court
heard Lezley Gibson told officers these referred to donations, which
were ploughed "straight back in" to fund the Canna-Biz operation.

All three told the court they believed they had a defence of medical
necessity in supplying the cannabis-laced bars, but this was rejected by
the jury.

After the hearing Lezley Gibson said: "The maximum sentence for what
we've been found guilty of is 14 years in jail. If you were a child
pervert your maximum sentence is only 12.

"I think there's a mistake in the law, and I think they really, really
really need to re-think the law on cannabis and medicinal use. Bringing
ill people to court and torturing them like this isn't what you do.

"You look after ill people, and you try to make them better. You do not
torture them and drag them back and forward to a court of law."




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