15 Jun Mark, Cancer Sufferer – Update: Busted, Jailed

Back in January we carried the story of Mark, a cancer sufferer from Merseyside who was growing his own cannabis for self-medication and who had recently been busted (Mark: Cancer Sufferer, Medicinal Cannabis User; aka a “Criminal”). Mark described what had happened:

After an operation I was diagnosed with stage 4 hodgkins cancer of the lymph nodes (link). Eight tumours had been removed from my neck! Unfortunately because I had been misdiagnosed the cancer had spread to my stomach, my diaphragm and my bowl.

Nearly a year and a half of chemotherapy followed , unfortunately the prolonged chemo caused numerous problems including Raynauds ( severe nerve damage) bowl disorder and suppressed immune system.

While in hospital I contacted MRSA which destroyed my left hip and for years after I struggled through life taking over 330 tablets every month. My body weight went from 13 and a half stone to 8 stone. It was at this time whilst searching the Internet I discovered medical cannabis and after reading many articles I decided to see if this could be the answer after years of medication; I was getting nowhere!

CLEAR has received an update from Mark, in it he described the effect cannabis had on his life

My chemotherapy caused severe lifelong medical conditions such as Raynauds and Bone infarction to name but a few and I was left taking all those tablets every months, when I started using cannabis my tablet consumption went to 0 my life started to get back on track.

As diagnosis I was regional director of National Tyre and Autocare a large multinational company, after my career came to an end with the diagnosis my life fell apart, however after self medicating the old me has returned. I am 45 years old and have never been in any form of trouble in my life, I own my own property and had started to develop a small company

As he told us in the first post, he was raided and he was charged with production of cannabis. Most people, I think, will be shocked by what happened as a result of this police raid, this latest update arrived by post from HMP Risley.

I arrived at court on May 9th armed with an in depth legal medical review that stated my illness. if I was to be sentenced would cause many problems and in fact would be very dangerous to my health, however on this date I was to be sentenced to five years imprisonment!

To say I am completely shocked is an understatement. I really do not understand this situation I have appealed this immediately. I am sure you agree this needs to stop all I keep getting told in drug courses in prison is there is no medical benefit of cannabis and it causes severe mental problems, obviously the education within the prison service is laughable and totally incorrect, I have managed to keep the HMP prison cannabis book pack hopefully one day I will get it to you believe me the propaganda within this booklet will shock you as it is based on zero evidence and totally false statements.

So it would seem that the state thinks there can be some benefit to society in locking someone with what is probably terminal cancer up for the terrible crime of growing some plant which he discovered gave him relief from his condition. This is beyond madness. Worse – if indeed it could be worse – he has to endure a prison drug awareness “education” telling him there is no medicinal benefit from cannabis use, when he knows full well from his own direct experience that there is.

Mark is appealing his sentence and we’ll keep you updated if we hear any more news.

It is important once again to give this bit of advice for anyone growing their own plants – which is to be aware of the sentencing guidelines issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS Website):

Do not grow more than 9 plants and be totally law abiding in every other aspect of your life. Medical need can be used as a mitigating circumstance but as we see here it is not a guarantee.

Edit to add – Mark was convicted of growing 32 plants, he maintains there were only 28.