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Cannabis gran defies eviction.

Byline: By Daniel Cochlin

A 68-year-old grandmother who "self-medicates" with cannabis because she claims it helps her fight illnesses and depression last night said she would fight housing company plans to evict her.

Patricia Tabram, who was convicted earlier this month of possessing and cultivating cannabis plants in a wardrobe in her home in Humshaugh, Northumberland, said she has "no choice" but to carry on using the drug.

In April 2005 she received a two-year suspended jail sentence for supplying the drug.

The mother-of-three has vowed to carry on using cannabis, which she says is more effective and less harmful than prescription drugs she used to take to battle the depression she has suffered since the death of her 14-year-old son in the 1970s.

She said cannabis also helps her overcome aches and pains she suffers from two car crashes.

Northumbria Police first became aware of her activities when she was caught supplying other elderly and infirm people in her area with cakes, casseroles and curries laced with cannabis.

Milecastle Housing, the association with which she is a tenant, held a board meeting to discuss her future, and decided not to evict her immediately but said she will be evicted if she continues using the drug.

Ms Tabram said: "I cannot give up cannabis ( my health problems are so bad. Until the NHS comes up with good quality medication, I will have to keep using it.

"I have told Milecastle and the police this, but I have to risk being evicted because I have no option. I am the victim in all of this."

Ms Tabram added that if she is evicted, she plans to apply for legal aid to sue the Prime Minister for "not looking after the elderly in this country."

Milecastle tenant services manager Chris Scott said: "The board of Milecastle Housing has agreed to apply to the court for a possession order, suspended for up to two years, in respect of the home in which Mrs Patricia Tabram lives in Humshaugh, Northumberland.

"If the order is granted, she will be allowed to continue living at the property only as long as she observes the terms of her tenancy agreement and specifically does not cultivate, possess or use cannabis in the property. Whether future action is required depends almost entirely on Mrs Tabram."
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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