28th September 2000
A multiple sclerosis sufferer has been cleared of possessing cannabis after telling a court she needed the drug for medical reasons.
Lezley Gibson was found not guilty after only an hour-and-a-half of deliberations by the jury at Carlisle Crown Court.
The thirty-six-year-old had denied one charge of possessing eight grams of the class B drug.
Speaking outside the court she vowed to continue smoking cannabis and called for a change in the law.
She said: "I will continue to campaign for everybody else. There are hundreds of people like me out there. "No-one in my position should have to be dragged through the courts like this but I am glad it is all over. I feel brilliant."
Mrs Gibson told the court she began smoking cannabis 12-years-ago - three years after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which attacks the central nervous system, at the age of 21.
The prosecution did not accept Mrs Gibson had the defence of necessity because she did not need to smoke cannabis to avoid death or serious injury from her condition.
However, the jury of seven women and five men found her not guilty of the charge of possession of the drug.
Earlier this year, MS sufferer Thomas Yates was cleared of possession
of cannabis and in July of last year Colin Davies was cleared of supplying
the drug by a jury at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.