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UK: Choc bar drugs pair will appeal

Robert Weatherall

Sunday Sun

Sunday 17 Dec 2006

A disabled woman found guilty of supplying drugs to fellow multiple
sclerosis sufferers said she will appeal against her conviction.

Lezley Gibson has not given up her fight to legally supply thousands of
MS sufferers with the class-C drug, which she and other campaigners
claim is the only effective treatment to alleviate the debilitating

Lezley, 42, of Alston, Cumbria, also says that, following her conviction
last week, she has been left to celebrate Christmas with the fear that
she and her husband Mark - who was also found guilty - will be sent to
prison next year.

She said: "I am still in shock that we were found guilty.

"I thought there would have been at least some of the jury who could see
past the black and white regulations of the law and see we were only
supplying to people in genuine medical need."

Lezley, Mark, also 42, and Marcus Davies, 36, from St Ives in
Cambridgeshire, were convicted of two counts each of conspiring to
supply cannabis at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday.

The trio had distributed by post more than 20,000 chocolate bars, each
containing around 3.5g of the drug, to people in the UK.

Lezley, who was diagnosed with the condition at 21, said: "Sentencing
has been adjourned until next year.

"The judge said we were in no immediate danger of going to jail, but I'm
not sure what that means.

"If he had ruled it out completely then he should have said so."

Lezley also argues that the judgment will effectively fuel street drug

She claims that the thousands of MS sufferers across the UK who she used
to supply will now be forced to source the class-C drug from street dealers.

She explained: "I used to have to seek drug dealers out in pubs.

"There were times I would be given cannabis that I wouldn't use to
polish my shoes.

"There were other times I handed over money and the dealer just disappeared.

"This ruling is a step backwards for MS treatment in this country.

"Conventional drugs don't work for a lot of people and I can't think of
any other condition where sufferers are denied medicine.

"You wouldn't deny an asthmatic an inhaler."

And she added: "I will be appealing and my barrister has already started
to work on that."




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