Pubdate: Tue, 29 Jul 2003
Source: Orcadian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2003 The Orcadian Limited
Author: 	Alun Buffry
Bookmark: (Biz Ivol )
Cited:	(Biz Ivol) (Legalise Cannabis Alliance )


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the numerous kind citizens 
of Kirkwall who showed sympathy for Biz Ivol.

I visited Orkney in early July along with five other members of the 
Legalise Cannabis Alliance, to offer our support to Biz during her trial 
for producing "cannachoc" - chocolate containing medicinal cannabis for 
people in dire and urgent need of some relief for the terrible suffering 
enraged upon them by Multiple Sclerosis.

Every person we met in Kirkwall showed sympathy for her and we did not meet 
one single person who said they thought that her arrest was justified, and 
to a person, they were appalled at the length of time it took to bring Ms 
Ivol to court, which caused her untold stress and undoubtedly led to the 
worsening of her condition.

She became so ill that the case was dropped for ever, almost two years 
after her arrest.

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance established a petition on the Internet at, demanding that the Scottish Justice system provide 
an explanation for the delay..

So far, all we have been told was that the case was delayed because the 
Court did not have wheelchair access, so they were waiting for an available 
room in the Sports Centre.

Such a feeble excuse!  Whilst in Orkney we saw places that would have been 
suitable, including hotel dining rooms with access for wheelchairs.

Biz did not want the case dropped on medical grounds; she wanted her day in 
court and in fact had already testified.

She is now back in her cottage, not knowing whether she will ever be raided 
again by the drugs squad police, or left alone to use her medicinal cannabis.

That is most unsatisfactory for her, for us and for the many thousands of 
people in her situation, with MS or other dreadful ailments for which 
cannabis could, or does, ease their suffering.

What sort of society are we living in when the justice system arrests and 
basically tortures sick people for using a natural plant that eases their 
pains (Biz described her pain as like having barbed wire dragged up and 
down her spine)?

The Sheriff said that her case was not a matter of decriminalisation or 
legalisation which is up to the politicians.

The Scottish drugs enforcement agency said that it is up to Westminster. 
Charles Clarke and other members of the cabinet say they are unable to comment.

Only five UK MP's, one MEP, one Lord and NO members of the Scottish 
Parliament have signed the Biz Ivol petition.

I urge everyone who reads this to join us in asking why that prosecution 
was necessary in the first place and why it was dropped on the grounds that 
Biz was unfit to be taken to court, when three days later she was taken on 
around trip to Aberdeen for tests?

Please help us demand an answer.

Are these head-in-the-sand, pass-the-buck politicians the people we really 
want to be governed by?

Alun Buffry
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom