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Press & Journal

Saturday 27 Jan 2007


Three people who supplied thousands of chocolate bars laced with
cannabis to sufferers of multiple sclerosis have walked free from court.

The trio, given suspended sentences yesterday, were said to have been
inspired by Orkney campaigner and MS sufferer Biz Ivol, who died in 2004.

Mark Gibson and his wife, Lezley, both 42, and Marcus Davies, 36, were
each given a nine-month jail term, suspended for two years, for their
role in supplying the Canna-Biz bars.

The defendants argued that the drug eased the symptoms of MS.

Sentencing yesterday at Carlisle Crown Court, Judge John Phillips said
he accepted that the defendants' motives were "altruistic".

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

The cottage industry made and supplied 20,000 of the Canna-Biz bars.
Each bar contained about 2g (0.07oz) of the drug.

The Gibsons, of Alston, Cumbria, insisted it was a free service and they
made no secret of their activity.

Davies, of St Ives, Cambridgeshire, denied any involvement in making or
posting the chocolates.

The Gibsons said they were planning to launch an appeal against their

A pro-cannabis pressure group hit out at the sentence.

Don Barnard, of the Legalise Cannabis Alliance, said: "It is time for
politicians and governments around the world to put a stop to this evil
application of the law."

Canna-Biz bars were created following the death of Miss Ivol, who worked
hard to help fellow MS sufferers, he said.

Miss Ivol was admonished at Kirkwall Sheriff Court in 1997 after she
admitted growing 27 cannabis plants to relieve her pain.

It was the first case of its kind after the British Medical Association
called on courts to be compassionate when sick people used the drug to
ease their symptoms.

Further court proceedings against Miss Ivol were abandoned when she
attempted suicide midway through a trial at Kirkwall.




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