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NZ Story Has Mirror Image In Britain


An eagle eyed reader of the Scoop last Thursday saw amazing similarities between 'Tetraplegic Jailed For Medicinal Cannabis' and a story running along the same lines on the BBS website (bbc.co.uk)

In New Zealand, tetraplegic Danuiel Clark came to the notice of the media after he complained about his treatment in prison. He had been sentenced to three weeks in prison after refusing to pay a fine or some sort of periodic detention following his conviction for cultivation of cannabis for personal supply.
Mr Clark said he uses cannabis as a pain killer and to combat the negative side effects of his prescription drugs that he must take every day. In 1994, his application to grow small amounts of cannabis, under supervision, for medicinal purposes was rejected.

Under the law such an application is possible, but no permit has ever been granted and the Ministry of Health has made it clear an application would only be seriously considered as part of a clinical trial.

In Britain, the BBC reported last Thursday that a man who grew cannabis to relieve his pain from spinal injuries was acquitted of cultivating and possessing the drug with intent to supply.

Colin Davies, 42, was acquitted by a jury at Manchester Crown Court after a three-day trial despite admitting that he had set up a co-operative to help fellow pain sufferers by providing them with cannabis.

Mr Davies, an unemployed joiner, admitted starting to take cannabis three years ago after suffering from the side effects of conventional drugs which he took to relieve the pain caused by serious spinal injuries.
These were sustained in a fall five years ago.

He pleaded not guilty to cultivating and possessing cannabis in his flat with intent to supply, claiming he was forced to use it out of medical necessity and that he supplied it to two sufferers of multiple sclerosis for the same reason.

The jury were not swayed by the prosecution pointing out “There is no defence because Mr Davies did cultivate cannabis and did supply it."

The case shows the benefits of pleading not-guilty and electing for a jury trial in emotive cases.

The British case had a futter sequel in Westminster on Thursday when a backbencher’s bill to decriminalise cannabis for medical use was blocked.

One shout of "object" by was enough to kill-off the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill, piloted by Mr Flynn without debate or a vote.

Earlier in the week, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair ruled out his Government having any rethink of the drug laws.

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