Source: The Scotsman
Pub Date: 16 July 2003
Subj: UK: Cannabis campaign highlights MS victim
Author: John Ross
CANNABIS CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS MS VICTIM
CANNABIS campaigners from across the UK are planning a protest at Westminster today to highlight the plight of Orkney multiple sclerosis sufferer Biz Ivol who uses the drug to ease her pain.
The event follows a small demonstration held in Parliament Square, London, last week to oppose prosecutions of people who use cannabis for medical reasons. Campaigners unveiled a banner proclaiming "Biz Ivol - Herbal Suffragette".
Last month Mrs Ivol, 55, from Herston, South Ronaldsay, went on trial facing charges of cultivating, possessing and supplying cannabis.
She admitted sending out cannabis-laced chocolates to fellow MS sufferers but pleaded not guilty to supplying the drug on the grounds that she believed she was doing nothing wrong. The case was dropped because of her deteriorating medical condition.
Mrs Ivol subsequently attempted suicide by taking an overdose but has since been released from hospital.
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) said today's protest will call for an explanation for Mrs Ivol's prosecution and why medical cannabis users are taken to court.
Don Barnard, a spokesman for the LCA. said: "I fully support the protest. I am fed up with politicians failing to address these issues, reclassification will do nothing to help these unfortunate sick people."
An ongoing petition on the LCA website calling for the Scottish ministers to justify the prosecution of Mrs Ivol has been signed by 1,232 people, including five MPs, one lord and one MEP.
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