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Father caught with £10,000 of cannabis spared jail after cancer patients defend his ‘life-saving treatment’

A medicinal cannabis provider caught with greater than a kilogram of the category B drug has escaped jail after lots of of cancer patients submitted letters to the court docket in his defence.

Andrew Baines, 46, a father of two and a cancer affected person himself, equipped lots of of patients with medicinal cannabis oil. The similar patients and their households submitted scores of letters to the court docket describing how Mr Baines – who confronted a doable cost of possession with intent to provide and manufacturing of a managed drug – had saved their lives.

Mr Baines was spared a 15-year sentence in a landmark ruling after the CPS determined to not pursue fees, as a substitute giving him a six-month neighborhood order, the bottom doable punishment.

Mr Baines used his personal “Cancard” – a medical cannabis card recognised by police – to illegally provide different patients with cannabis-based drugs. However, in April 2020 he was arrested after police discovered a kilogram of cannabis – together with 30 crops of the drug, with a road worth of £10,000 – at his house in Lincoln, east Midlands.

Medicinal cannabis was legalised within the UK in 2018 however many patients wrestle to obtain a prescription forcing them to purchase from road sellers

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Cannabis-based medicines had been made authorized in November 2018, to be prescribed solely by specialists for patients who can’t be helped by different obtainable medicine. But it’s hardly ever prescribed on the NHS forcing patients to hunt it by means of extra harmful and costly unlawful means.

Giving her ruling at Grimsby Magistrates Court, decide Sue Fortune stated: “If the law was different Mr Baines would have been applauded not punished.

“I take the view that a community order is justified in this case, not because of you but because of the message we must send,” the decide added.

Mr Baines’ solicitor Hannah Sampson stated: “I have never seen a six-month community order imposed, if you steal a sandwich from Tesco you get 12 months.

“Cases like this are fundamental in taking this back down to grassroots so the police and the prosecution are making the right decisions,” Ms Sampson added. “They have to differentiate between the medical cases and the county lines cases where people are trying to profit on the black market of illegal substances, and at the moment the law doesn’t allow for a difference between the two to be drawn. This case is a huge step.”

Mr Baines’ landmark sentencing was made at Grimsby Magistrates Court

(PA)

“This case, perhaps, earmarks a wind of change. This case, perhaps, means that finally, the law will catch up with the enormity of what cannabis can do to save lives.”

Mr Baines stated he was relieved to not obtain a custodial sentence. “The outcome was good, but it’s just frustrating that it’s not legalised yet,” he stated.

Police visited Mr Baines after Post Office staff turned suspicious of one of his deliveries to a affected person.

After being arrested, Mr Baines famous the efforts of officers to keep away from in search of a heavy prosecution in opposition to him, understanding he was utilizing the medicine to make ache reduction for cancer patients. He added that he had fallen into debt in his efforts to offer patients, who discover his providers by means of a Facebook assist group, with the oil.

Hundreds of testimonials had been written on behalf of Mr Baines to assist his case. Belinda Williams was identified with incurable liver cancer and was despatched house to organize for her dying when her husband made contact with Mr Baines.

Her husband Russ stated: “I made contact with Andy and our lives have not been the same since. Andy did not hesitate and set about helping us. We offered to pay him, but he refused point-blank. We are now 13-months on and I am pleased to report that all six of my wife’s tumours have gone and just this week we were given the all-clear. Our NHS oncologist is in shock.”

Emma Sutton and her 7-year-old son Oscar who suffers from seizures and advantages from Mr Bailey’s cannabis oil

(Supplied)

Seven-year-old Oscar has autism and Lennox-gastaut syndrome, a extreme kind of epilepsy inflicting him to endure lots of of seizures a day leaving him disabled.

“If it wasn’t for Andy our son would be in a wheelchair, it’s thanks to Andy that he is walking. We also have the backing of Oscar’s neurologist. Oscar’s school and family members are blown away by his progress,” his mom Emma stated.

Carly Barton founder of Cancard, which offers patients with a medical ID to hold medicinal cannabis and equipped Mr Baines with a solicitor stated: “I salute the CPS and the CPJ in this case who made the fair decision not to imprison Andrew for providing access to life-changing medicine for people in need. Andrew has improved the lives of thousands of people who were sent home to die. The alternative for those people was to access these medicines via the criminal market which pours money into county lines and causes harm.

“Experts like Andrew are few and far between. Currently, they are bridging the gap that our healthcare system is not providing. Now we need to look at better access schemes so that those who need it can access cannabis, and, so that our experts, like Andrew, are able to utilise their specialisms legally.”

The court docket ruling comes only a day after the National Drugs Summit the place the federal government renewed its vow to crack down on middle-class drug use and policing and crime minister Kit Malthouse doubled down on his opposition to Sadiq Khan’s review into a possible loosening of legal guidelines round cannabis use.

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