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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Pain relief cannabis woman dies
Biz Ivol
Biz Ivol
A cannabis campaigner who fought a court battle in a bid to use the drug to ease the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis has died.

Elizabeth Ivol - known as Biz - from Orkney, suffered from the condition for several years and openly used the drug.

She campaigned for the drug to be made legal and last year the Crown took her to court but later dropped its case due to Ms Ivol's ill-health.

A family spokesman at her South Ronaldsay cottage confirmed her death.

Pain relief

The court case hit the headlines in June 2003 after the authorities decided to clamp down on Ms Ivol's decision to distribute cannabis-laced chocolate to fellow MS sufferers.

She admitted distributing the drug in the form of chocolate for pain relief at Kirkwall Sheriff Court but pleaded not guilty to supplying the drug because she believed she was doing nothing wrong.

The Crown Office eventually dropped the charges on the grounds of Ms Ivol's deteriorating health.

During the case she said she would take her own life if she was forced to live without the drug.

Suicide attempt

At the time she told BBC Scotland her final protest would be to overdose on pain killers and 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."

Just days after the case collapsed she was found unconscious at her home and spent several days in hospital.

Ms Ivol had been disappointed at the end of the trial as she had wanted to use the case to publicise her campaign for the legalisation of medical cannabis.

Ms Ivol claimed cannabis was the only thing to ease her pain

She said it was the only drug which eased her pain and described how she had tried a long list of legal medication supplied by her doctor but none of it had worked.

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

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

Cannabis case woman 'overdoses'
02 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Woman defends cannabis use
19 Jun 03  |  Scotland
MS sufferer faces cannabis trial
18 Jun 03  |  Scotland
'Pain drove me to pot'
03 Jan 02  |  UK News

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