A MUM who treated her multiple sclerosis with home-grown cannabis because her usual medication based on the drug was withdrawn by the NHS said the decision to prosecute her and her husband was “cruel”.

Minutes before the couple’s trial was due to start at Carlisle Crown Court on Monday, Lezley Gibson and her husband Mark, both 55, were declared not guilty as prosecutors conceded it was not in the public interest to continue the case.

The couple, formerly of Alston but now of Carlisle, walked free after a Crown Prosecution Service barrister revealed Mrs Gibson was now using a new cannabis-based treatment which was being prescribed privately, at a cost of £650 per month.

The couple were charged with possessing and producing the class B drug after police raided their home in Yewdale Road, Morton, on January 19 last year. Officers were tipped off that the couple had cannabis chocolate.

During Monday’s hearing, prosecutor Brendan Burke outlined how Mrs Gibson had been legally using a cannabis-based spray called Sativex, supplied by the local NHS. It provided her with instant relief for the worst of her symptoms including intense pain, body spasms, and sight loss.

The prosecution said she began growing the drug after NHS bosses withdrew Sativex.

Mrs Gibson claimed she felt the couple had no option other than to create their own supply of cannabis, so she could treat her symptoms after the Sativex was withdrawn.

She said: “I want to say how relieved I am at the result. I hope that this makes it better for everybody in the future and that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.

“These prosecutions are unnecessary, and very, very cruel. Today was a good result and the law is listening – at last.”

The couple’s ordeal began when police raided their home, and they were found to be growing nine cannabis plants – all for medicinal purposes claimed Mrs Gibson.

She said: “It’s ridiculous I was charged. I’m not a bad person. The only thing I’ve done wrong is want to be well. There are lots of people like me. This is not the way you should treat ill people.

“I understand that the law should be upheld.

“But in this case the law is not workable. Cannabis is a medicine now.”