Monday 14 May 2001
By Richard Downie
LEZLIE GIBSON, of Alston, Cumbria, has suffered from multiple sclerosis for the past 17 years. She has used cannabis to alleviate her symptoms for the past 14 years.
She said: "For the first three years after I was diagnosed with MS, my condition got progressively worse. I would have spells of paralysis and muscle spasms on a fairly regular basis. I also suffered from dizzy spells and temporary blindness in my left eye. Then I discovered cannabis and my whole life changed."
Mrs Gibson, 36, progressed from using small quantities at irregular intervals to using the drug on a daily basis. She said: "It helps to level out my condition and acts as a painkiller. My MS has not progressed at all and I have not had any recurrence of the paralysis or blindness for years. Cannabis has made a big difference."
She welcomed the start of clinical trials into the effects of the drug on MS and cancer patients. She said: "I think the studies are very positive." Mrs Gibson spends much of her time advising other MS and cancer sufferers about cannabis use.
Last autumn, she was prosecuted for the possession of eight grams of cannabis. She was cleared after a four-day trial at Carlisle Crown Court.