HOME-MADE chocolate bars – each containing cannabis worth about £20 – were being sent to multiple sclerosis sufferers across the UK to help ease their pain, a court was told this week. Packages containing the bars had a Huntingdon return address, and a ra
HOME-MADE chocolate bars - each containing cannabis worth about £20 - were being sent to multiple sclerosis sufferers across the UK to help ease their pain, a court was told this week.
Packages containing the bars had a Huntingdon return address, and a raid in Oldhurst, is alleged to have uncovered two sheds containing cannabis plants and details of bank accounts containing £40,000.
Marcus Davies, 36, of Warboys Road, Oldhurst, who stood in 2004 for election to Huntingdonshire District Council for Somersham, is standing trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He is accused of two charges of conspiring to supply cannabis throughout 2004 until February 2005.
His co-accused - who are both from Alston, Cumbria and face the same charges - are gift shop manager and former school friend Mark Gibson, 42, and his wife Lezley, 42, who has MS.
The trio, members of a not-for-profit organisation, Therapeutic Help from Cannabis for Multiple Sclerosis (THC4MS), deny the charges.
On Tuesday, a jury heard that the "Canna-Biz" chocolate bars had been discovered at the Royal Mail sorting office in Carlisle on January 25.
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The depot's duty manager alerted officers after one of 33 packages fell open. The 150g bars were found to be laced with 3.5g of cannabis.
Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said all the packages had a PO Box in Huntingdon as the return address and this was later traced to Mr Davies.
He also said the wrappers were printed with a website address for THC4MS, which was later found to be run by the defendants. The website advertised cannabis chocolate, requesting a donation in return.
When police raided the home of Mr and Mrs Gibson, officers seized cannabis chocolate bars, labels and packages, Mr Grout-Smith said. A list of 460 addresses, to which the bars were being sent, were also found.
Mr Grout-Smith said: "This seems to be distribution on quite a large scale and the defendants may have benefited financially - although the Crown does not claim this was their main motivation."
Mr Davies told police he grew cannabis plants for his own use and for the Gibsons, who are alleged to have supplied home-made Canna-Biz bars by post to patients with MS, an illness that can produce intense pain.
However, supplying cannabis, even for medicinal purposes, without proper authority is a criminal offence which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
The trial continues.