Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jun 2003
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2003 BBC


A multiple sclerosis sufferer who has campaigned for the medical use of the 
drug has gone on trial accused of supplying it to others.

Kirkwall Sheriff Court heard how a man who was trying to relieve his wife's 
pain obtained special cannabis chocolates made by Elizabeth Ivol, also 
known as Biz. Mrs Ivol, 55, of South Ronaldsay, has denied three charges in 
relation to the handling of cannabis.

The accused, who has been a high profile supporter of the use of cannabis 
as a pain relief option, has warned that her life would not be worth living 
without the drug. Mrs Ivol uses a wheelchair and the court has convened at 
a leisure centre in Kirkwall which has easier access.

Witness John Murray, who wanted to ease his wife's suffering from multiple 
sclerosis, said Mrs Ivol posted him several cannabis chocolates. Mr Murray 
said he had considered getting cannabis for his wife but did not know where 
he could obtain it.

After reading a newspaper article featuring Mrs Ivol, he contacted her and 
she sent him several cannabis chocolates in the post.

He said his wife Eileen had been losing the use of her legs and was only 
able to walk up to a couple of hundred yards.

He said: "She has become quite dependent on my presence. She has had 
considerable pain which you cannot predict.

"As a result of reading the article, I became aware that Mrs Ivol had found 
a method for combining cannabis with chocolate. I understand it relieves 
the pain and symptoms."

Police later visited Mr Murray's home in Dalgety Bay, Fife, and removed the 
cannabis before it could be given to his wife, the court heard. 
'Information packs' Constable Michael Don, of Northern Constabulary, said 
he obtained a search warrant to go to Mrs Ivol's home on 6 August, 2001 
after she attracted media attention. During a search, tobacco, a quantity 
of rolled cigarettes and several recorded delivery slips were found.

Police also found a letter written by someone who had requested a supply of 
her "special Belgian chocolates".

Constable Don told the court that when he interviewed Mrs Ivol, she said: 
"I send out information packs first and they usually contact me again if 
they wanted to try out the chocolate.

"I then send out a package of chocolates with nothing indicating where it 
has come from."

Mrs Ivol denies a charge of possession of cannabis, a charge of supplying 
cannabis and a charge of the cultivation of cannabis. The trial, before 
Sheriff Colin Scott Mackenzie, continues.
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