420 Magazine Background




A severely disabled man has said he will continue to smoke cannabis to
relieve his pain, after criminal charges against him were dropped.

Darren Pritchard, from Magor near Chepstow, says the law should be changed
to allow ill people to use the drug to cope with their condition.

On Monday, the 35-year-old was cleared after the prosecution offered no
evidence in the case at Cardiff Crown Court.

Mr Pritchard, who broke his neck in an accident 12 years ago and is
paralysed from the neck down, said he could not cope without the cannabis.

"It is the only relief that I get," he said.

"The tablets don't do anything at all - it the cannabis that gives me
relief mentally and physically."

Mr Pritchard was charged with growing and possessing the drug after police
found seven plants at his home.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it decided not to proceed because
of concerns about Mr Pritchard's health.

Prosecutor Lee Ingham said the CPS realised there could be "no appropriate
punishment" imposed, even though it should not be seen to be dropping cases.

Judge William Gaskell said the cost of a prosecution would be out of
proportion with the public interest.

"There is no purpose whatsoever in prosecuting him for growing cannabis in
an attempt to alleviate his pain," he said.

Mr Pritchard welcomed the decision, adding the prospect of the trial had
left him frustrated and depressed, and had stopped him going out.

Pubdate: Tue, 23 Sep 2003
Source: BBC News (UK Web)
Webpage: BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Disabled man's cannabis vow
Copyright: 2003 BBC
Contact: newsonline@bbc.co.uk
Website: Home - BBC News
Top Bottom