MS sufferers sentenced over cannabis

Chris Gaynor

Soft drugs campaigners are fuming over the harsh sentence handed to two people who have the extremely painful multiple sclerosis disease.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance say they are appalled at Carlisle Crown Court's decision to give Lezley Gibson and her husband Mark, both 42,  a two year suspended sentence after they dealt 20,000 cannabis bars to people suffering alongside them. Use of 'weed', as the soft drug is popularly called, is scientifically accepted as a good way of soothing the pain of MS sufferers.

Alun Buffry, a spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA), said: 'We are appalled that the law would allow such a conviction, because they haven't exactly hurt anybody; they've helped a large number of people.'

But Mrs Gibson, says she has no regrets at dealing the bars claiming that she was only trying to help fellow sufferers in need of pain relief.

She added: 'My only crime is wanting to be well and help other people when there isn't anything else available.'

Judge John Phillips conceded that the couple did not intend to profit from dealing the drug and said that this was an exceptional case, but he did remark that there had been a plan over many years to supply the drug in baulk to the MS sufferers.

He said: "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.'

Matthew Trainer, of the charity MS society, has called for there to be further research done into the benefits of illegal drugs offering pain relief, and says that there are very few alternatives for sufferers.

Trainer, said: 'There is a demand among people with MS for anything that can help relieve neuropathic pain.'