Pubdate: Sat, 27 Jan 2007
Source: Cambridge Evening News (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Cambridge Newspapers Ltd
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


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

Marcus Davies, of St Ives, was convicted of conspiracy to supply
cannabis after helping Mark and Lezley Gibson, of Alston Cumbria,
distribute around 20,000 CannaBiz bars for medicinal purposes.

The trio were each sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for
two years, when they appeared at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday
(Friday, 26 January).

Judge John Phillips said he accepted their motives were "altruistic",
that they had a genuine desire to help people who were suffering and
they made no profit from the operation.

He said sentencing guidelines allowed for a significant custodial
sentence, but accepted there were exceptional circumstances in this

He added: "The conspiracy to supply drugs took place over a number of
years in what was a sophisticated operation in which several kilograms
of cannabis were distributed."

The "cottage industry" made and supplied the Canna-Biz bars, each
containing about 2g of the drug, free of charge, with customers
required to provide a medical note confirming their condition before
bars were supplied.

Speaking after the sentencing yesterday (Friday, 26 January), Mr
Davies said the decision to prosecute had been "ludicrous" and said he
would be appealing against both the conviction and sentence.

He said: "I have been given a nine-month prison sentence for helping
people, and it is unbelievable it meant so much to someone that we be
prosecuted that they actually went through with it.

"It has taken two years to get where we are today (Saturday, 27
January), and still no-one can tell me - who is the victim here?

"The only victim is me, because it has cost me a fortune to fight
this, but the fight will go on because the only thing I have done is
help people. I can sleep at night because I know how many people I
have helped."
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