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Grandmother Who 'Cooked With Cannabis' Denies Possession


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A 68-year-old grandmother who "passionately" believes in using cannabis to relieve pain went before a judge and jury today charged with growing and possessing the drug.

Patricia Tabram denies one count of possession and one of cultivating cannabis.

Tabram cooperated with police when they raided her home in the sleepy village of Humshaugh, near Hexham, in September 2005, and directed officers to a bedroom where cannabis plants were growing in a wardrobe. She also told police there was powdered cannabis stored in jars in her kitchen to be used in cooking, the court heard.

During the raid, police seized four plants, growing equipment and the powdered form of the drug which the prosecution claims was for her personal use.

Tom Moran, prosecuting, told Carlisle Crown Court: "Mrs Tabram is somebody who passionately believes in the use of cannabis as a way of relieving pain.

"She says she suffers symptoms from various unfortunate health problems that are, she says, not alleviated by conventional medicine.

"She believes she should be able to take cannabis to do what conventional medicine cannot do." Tabram is believed to use the drug to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, whiplash and depression.

Mr Moran reminded the jury of six men and six women that they were not there to debate legalisation of cannabis, however.

He said: "You are not here to debate whether the law should be changed, you are here to apply the law as it stands at the moment."

Sgt Alan Clement was part of the police raid. Under cross-examination by Tabram, who is defending herself, he admitted she had asked him to seize the contents of her freezer.

He said: "I cannot remember exactly this conversation but it would be to the effect we were not going to take food out of your freezer."

The pensioner replied: "The reason I asked you to please take it was, I believe, if you had gone back to the police station with 22 boxes of curries, casseroles, biscuits, cake and ice cream, this would have proved to the Crown Prosecution Service that I only use cannabis to cook."

There was a ripple of laughter in the courtroom when the defendant pointed out that a police statement read out by the prosecution was dated September 11, 2005, five days before the raid took place.

The prosecution said it will investigate why the document was wrongly dated.

The case was adjourned until tomorrow morning.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Author: Sally Peck and agencies
Copyright: 2007 Telegraph Media Group Limited
Website: Telegraph newspaper online
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