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UK Letter: Punished – for fighting pain

Alun Buffry

Lancashire Telegraph

Tuesday 30 Aug 2011

Regarding the sentencing of Jacqueline Yorke and Kenneth Laird ('Nelson couple who grew cannabis for arthritis spared jail', LT, Aug 26), this has been a tragedy of injustice!

After being arrested for growing cannabis in their own home to ease the terrible pains of arthritis, Laird was given a six-month prison sentence and Yorke four months, each suspended for 18 months.

Each must pay £200 court costs. Laird must carry out 120 hours community service and Yorke 100 hours.

I am sure that the Misuse of Drugs Act was not really meant to stop people growing a few cannabis plants at home to ease the symptoms of some terrible ailments and pains, including arthritis.

And to the person who commented online and apparently regards the users as liars and junkies – wake up, you are a fool to believe the Government and big pharmaceutical companies that are ripping you off blind.

By all means, take their expensive pills with their risks of side-effects, but there remains no reason to punish medicinal cannabis plant users that have done no harm to others.

These people were not 'spared jail', they were given suspended sentences which one day they may serve if caught again.

It puts them in an unenviable and cruel position of having to choose between pain and less effective pharmaceutical painkillers with side-effects, or prison.

What sort of law do we allow to punish people in pain simply for trying to ease that pain using a plant?

Alun Buffry, Norwich.




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