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CANNABIS CASE WOMAN 'OVERDOSES'

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The woman at the centre of a controversial cannabis court case has
received treatment for a suspected drug overdose. An ambulance took
Elizabeth Ivol, also known as Biz, to hospital from her south Orkney
home on Wednesday morning.

A spokeswoman for NHS Orkney speaking at the island's Balfour Hospital
has described Mrs Ivol's condition as stable.

It is the latest twist in the case of the wheelchair-bound Multiple
Sclerosis sufferer who was due to be told that a court case accusing
her of supplying cannabis to others was to be dropped.

The 55-year-old had claimed she would take her life once the trial was
over and said she had already made arrangements for the funeral.

On Wednesday she expressed disappointment that the Crown would tell
Kirkwall Sheriff Court in Orkney that it did not intend to proceed
with the case on the grounds of Ms Ivol's health.

She had wanted to use the case to publicise her campaign for the
legalisation of medical cannabis, which she said is the only drug
which eases her pain. Mrs Ivol told BBC Scotland's Good Morning
Scotland programme on Wednesday that her final protest would be to
overdose on pain killers.

She said: "With a bit of luck I will get stoned before I do it and
then I will go to sleep. Then it will be over and done with and
someone else can take over from me - I'm tired."

Mrs Ivol had denied three charges in relation to the handling of
cannabis when she appeared at Kirkwall Sheriff Court.

She has said her life would not be worth living without the
drug.

Cannabis Chocolates

Mrs Ivol told the court she came up with the idea for what she called
her "special Belgian chocolates" after agreeing to help a non-smoking
MS sufferer.

She developed a formula for the drug-laced confectionery as well as
cannabis patches which can be directly applied to the skin.

Mrs Ivol added that she had tried a long list of legal medication
supplied by her doctor but claimed some of the drugs had "horrific"
side effects.

The court heard her day-to-day life had become almost unbearable since
she was diagnosed with the incurable condition in the early 1990s.

Mrs Ivol said: "At the moment I feel like somebody's pulling barbed
wire through my spine.

"I have muscle spasms and my eyesight's failing but it has not gone
yet. It is very, very painful.

"I'm completely and utterly paralysed from the neck down, more or
less."

She said she resisted using cannabis for two years because of the
stigma attached to the drug, but eventually gave in and began smoking
one cannabis joint each evening.


Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jul 2003
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Copyright: 2003 BBC
Website: Home - BBC News
 
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