Drug trio plan to appeal convictions
THREE people found guilty of supplying cannabis-laced chocolate bars to multiple sclerosis sufferers plan to appeal against their convictions. Marcus Davies, 36, from Oldhurst, Mark Gibson, 42, and his wife Lezley, 42, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), bot
THREE people found guilty of supplying cannabis-laced chocolate bars to multiple sclerosis sufferers plan to appeal against their convictions.
Marcus Davies, 36, from Oldhurst, Mark Gibson, 42, and his wife Lezley, 42, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), both from Alston, Cumbria, were convicted of two counts each of conspiring to supply cannabis.
The Cumbrian couple admitted running a cottage industry making and posting out more than 20,000 Canna-Biz bars. These contained about 3.5g of the drug and were sent to MS sufferers around the world, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
In their testimonies they insisted this was a free service funded by voluntary donations, available only to MS sufferers who provided a medical note.
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Davies said outside the court that he used cannabis himself for a variety of complaints including epilepsy, diabetes, pains in his legs, kidney disease and rhetinopathy (blisters behind his eyes). He said: "I use an extract that does not even get you stoned."
During the trial, he admitted running a website and post office box for the not-for-profit organisation Therapeutic Help from Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis, thc4ms.org. However, he denied making or posting the chocolate.
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Cash receipts totalling £30,000 were seized by police but the court heard Lezley Gibson told officers these referred to donations, ploughed "straight back in" to funding the Canna-Biz.
The couple told the jury cannabis eases symptoms of MS, a claim they said was backed up by research.
Mrs Gibson insisted conventional medicine had not helped her illness and if it were not for her cannabis use, she would be in a wheelchair.
All three defendants told the court they believed they had a defence of medical necessity, but the jury rejected this.
The Gibsons made no secret of their activities. Cumbria Police had been aware of what the couple were up to for a number of years prior to their arrest, the court was told.
All three defendants were ordered to return to court on January 26 for sentence.
*After a ruling on Wednesday, December 13, THC4MS announced on its website that it has ceased making and supplying Canna-Biz chocolate.