Source: News & Star, Carlisle

Pub Date: 18 August 2005

Subj: Conspiracy charges for cannabis campaigners

Author: Nick Griffiths

Web site:

Cited: Legalise Cannabis Alliance

         Lezley Gibson


A CUMBRIAN couple who stood for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance party at the general election have been charged with plotting to supply the drug.


Mark and Lezley Jane Gibson, of Front Street, Alston, have been charged alongside another man with one count each of conspiracy to supply cannabis.


It is alleged this took place between January 2000 and February 2005.


Mark Gibson, 41, stood as a candidate for Penrith and the Border in the May election as well as in 2001, while his wife stood in the Carlisle constituency this year.


Lezley Gibson, also 41, came to national attention in 2000 when she was cleared at Carlisle Crown Court of possessing cannabis.


The jury made its decision after hearing how she needed the drug to ease her multiple sclerosis (MS).


In 2003, Mark Gibson shelved plans to open a Dutch-style cannabis cafe in Cumbria.


Speaking to the News & Star after the charges were brought, he said: "I can categorically deny selling any cannabis to anyone."


The Gibsons, who run a shop in Alston, are co-accused of the same charge with Marcus Peter Davies , 36, of The Grove, Warboys Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire on July 25.


They are all due to appear before Carlisle Crown Court tomorrow .


It can also be revealed today that Princess Diana's astrologer was arrested during the investigations leading up to the charges.


Penny Thornton was arrested at her home in Haslemere , Surrey, although police later decided she was not involved in any alleged conspiracy.


Ms Thornton, who gave Diana horoscope readings for six years, said: "I have nothing to do with cannabis."


She was originally released on police bail but this was later cancelled.

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