MS sufferer avoids jail for importing cannabis-based drug

A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been spared jail for importing a cannabis-derived drug.

Christine Smith, 65, ordered the substance as a means of treating her symptoms, but it was intercepted by police.

The brown liquid was identified as a class A drug under Guernsey law, the island’s Royal Court heard.

She pleaded guilty to importing the drug and was given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Smith, of Nouvelle Marataine, Vale, Guernsey, told police she had no idea the substance, described as a brown liquid in a syringe, was a class A drug.

No permission

Tests showed it contained Tetrahydrocannabinol, with an estimated street value of £200, but Judge Graeme McKerrell told the court no meaningful street value could be ascertained.

Defending, Advocate Samuel Steele said his client had spent £14,000 on private treatment since being diagnosed with a form of MS five years ago but this had not eased her symptoms of pain, fatigue and memory loss.

The court heard the drug could be licensed for medical purposes in Guernsey but only with permission of the island’s chief pharmacist or medical director, something Mrs Smith had not attempted to obtain.

Sentencing, Judge McKerrell said cases involving the importation of other class A drugs had led to long prison sentences, but Smith’s early guilty plea, probation report, and the many character references in her favour, led the court imposing a two year suspended sentence.

 

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