Newsbrief: In First, British Marijuana User Wins with Medical Necessity Defense 10/18/02

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A 45-year-old Carmarthen man who smoked marijuana to relieve a painful spinal condition was acquitted of possession charges in magistrate's court on October 9 after successfully arguing that he had used the drug out of medical necessity. While a handful of juries have previously found medical marijuana users not guilty, this case marks the first time British judges have accepted the medical necessity defense.

Brad Stephens was arrested after police found under two ounces of marijuana during a raid of his home. He admitted in court that he regularly smoked to relieve pain associated with cervical spondylosis, but pleaded not guilty to the possession charge. Stephens' lawyer told the magistrates Stephens used heavy doses of morphine to control pain, but that marijuana allowed him to reduce his morphine intake. "By taking cannabis, he reduces his dependency on morphine and the potentially fatal risk," solicitor Mike Reed told the court. "In effect, cannabis is saving his life."

The magistrates agreed and found him not guilty, but they still ordered the seized marijuana destroyed.

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Issue #259, 10/18/02 Election 2002:00:00 The Initiatives | Election 2002:00:00 Arizona | Election 2002:00:00 District of Columbia | Election 2002:00:00 Nevada | Election 2002:00:00 Ohio | Election 2002:00:00 South Dakota | Election 2002:00:00 Local Ballot Issues in San Francisco and Massachusetts | November Coalition Journey for Justice Roars through Michigan | Drug War Corruption in Colombia and Mexico | Newsbrief: New Compilation of California Medical Marijuana Guideline Info on MarijuanaInfo.org | Newsbrief: San Diego Medical Marijuana Activist Arrested on Federal Charges | Newsbrief: Damned Sad -- MADD Sues DAMMADD | Newsbrief: This Week's Cop Corruption Story | Newsbrief: DARE Attrition Continues in Kansas City, Kansas | Newsbrief: Canada Study Looks at Marijuana for HIV/AIDS Woes | Newsbrief: In First, British Marijuana User Wins with Medical Necessity Defense | Newsbrief: Virginia Man Lucks Out with Only Two Years in Prison for Sharing Joint with Teenager | Newsbrief: BC City Governments Ask for Tougher Grow Penalties | Newsbrief: Florida School District Wants Positive Drug Test Kids to Pay for Own Counseling | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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