Necessity Defense Successful in U.K.



According to a Jan. 16, 2004 BBC News article:

"A north Wales man has been cleared of supplying cannabis to sick people in what may be a landmark case.

Jeffrey Ditchfield, 43, from Rhyl, was found not guilty of the possession of cannabis with intent to supply after he told a jury at Chester Crown Court that he had only supplied it to the sick to try to help them.

The shopowner used the defence of "necessity", arguing that the supply of the drug to sick people was not a misuse under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Crown Prosecution Service in north Wales said after the verdict it was the first time it had heard of anyone using such a defence in a supply of cannabis case.

Judge Elgan Edwards told Mr Ditchfield he should not take it as approval for what he was doing. 'If you do the same thing again you could be prosecuted again,' he said. 'You are an intelligent and sincere man but you do run the risk.'"
Jan. 16, 2004 BBC News