Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Late Biz Ivol


Born 1 October 1948

Location Kirkwall

Affiliation Legalise Cannabis

Gender Female

Personal information
Biz Ivol, a dedicated cannabis campaigner, passed away on 6th September 2004, aged 56, after suffering a bout of pneumonia. She had suffered from devastating Multiple Sclerosis and discovered relief from cannabis, especially mixed with chocolate. She publicly proclaimed that benefit from cannabis and fought for the rights of those in need of cannabis to be free from prosecution.

She was burie

d at St Peter's Church on South Ronaldsay after a low-key ceremony.The service was not religious and had been devised by 56-year-old Ms Ivol before her death on Sunday. 

Her coffin was carried to the grave and speeches were made by two friends before it was lowered into the ground.It is understood that Ms Ivol's sister and ex-husband were among the mourners. Ms Ivol, who had multiple sclerosis, had been suffering from a chest infection but had refused medication for it as her health deteriorated.

Her use of cannabis to ease the symptoms of MS attracted national attention. She was admonished at Kirkwall Sheriff Court in 1997 after she admitted growing 27 cannabis plants to relieve her pain.Further court proceedings had to be abandoned last year when Ms Ivol attempted suicide. She had denied possessing, producing and supplying cannabis but admitted under cross-examination that she had made cannabis-laced chocolates for MS patients.

Ms Ivol compared the pain of MS to barbed wire being dragged through her spine. A sympathetic doctor suggested she try cannabis after all other methods had failed.

She has been described as a "herbal suffragette" and the Legalise Cannabis Alliance said candle-lit ceremonies were taking place around the country to pay tribute to Ms Ivol.

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Personal interests
Biz suffered from MS and had caught a chest infection, she had wanted to "escape" for some time, so refused any medication and died peacefully at home at 11pm on 6th September 2004.

Biz was the lady who first made Cannabis Chocolate for fellow MS patients, her efforts created THC4MS and later herself and others campaigned for the law to change, the reclassification back in January this year was d

own to Biz and others relentless campaign to allow cannabis as a medicine.

The thing Biz said she would miss the most would be her beautiful garden, and her cat Willy, she wasn’t scared of dying, and had already arranged a natural funeral. 

I know Biz would have wanted Cannabis to be legal for all, it was one of the last public speeches she made, for the LCA Conference in Norwich 2003. Anyone who would like to listen to Biz' speech can find it on the LCA website at 

With Love and Sympathy to those who knew Biz,

Clara xx

Biz Ivol is a peaceful middle-aged lady who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. She lived a quiet life in the Orkneys until becoming somewhat famous through her honesty after admitting that she used cannabis to help relieve some of the symptoms of her illness.

Many people have done the same, being forced to break the law to obtain a supply of a helpful medicinal plant that they are unable to obtain illegally.

The big difference between Biz and most fellow sufferers is that she went further and learned how to grow it and use the plant to make chocolate that eased her symptoms without having to smoke the cannabis.

Biz Ivol, like Colin Davies, another UK man who was punished for supplying cannabis to seriously ill people who approached him for help, began to post out chocolate to fellow MS sufferers around the country.

Like Colin, Biz was approached by the press and told her story honestly.

The result: raids by the so-called Drugs Squad, search and arrest, then to be made to suffer unbearable stress whilst waiting almost 2 years for her trial which began in June 2003.

As most people know, stress such as that caused by waiting to go to court worsens the symptoms of this almost unbearable illness many times. Over that two years Biz Ivol's condition worsened considerably, as did her eyesight and the use of her hands.

One is forced to ask why it should take so long when the case was not unduly complicated and the court not over-run with other cases.

One is forced to ask why she was ever taken to court in the first place.

The majority of UK citizens, like others, in surveys express disquiet over the prosecution of victimless but seriously ill medical cannabis users. The House of Lords and the BMA have asked for leniency. There had already been several successful defences based upon medical necessity.

Who will stand up and point the accusing finger at Biz? Only those paid by the state to do so.

In June 2003, Biz said that she could bear to suffer no longer and would take her own life after the case, whatever the result.

Whatever her choice, however we feel about suicide, we must not let her suffering be in vain.

On July 2, the case was dropped after the Sheriff's Court heard a report from Biz Ivol's doctor, Simon Kemp, that the progression of Multiple Sclerosis made Biz unfit to be able to continue her trial. Prosecution and defence accepted this and the case was discontinued. The Sheriff said, "This is a sad and unsatisfactory end to this case. It has attracted a great deal of media attention. It may well be that Ms Ivol feels unable to continue with her defence of necessity. Any question of decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis is a matter for the politicians.. this case will not proceed again."

Unfortunately, this was not exactly what Biz had wanted - she had wanted a verdict of not guilty.

That morning, several members of the LCA Executive who had travelled to Orkney to attend the trial and support Biz, heard that she had been rushed to hospital with a suspected overdose of paracetamol. She was unable to attend the hearing.

Later that day, Biz regained consciousness and was able to talk. A couple of days later, after being flown to Aberdeen and back for tests, Biz was able to return home,  where she told us that she was very tired and wished to rest and let others take over her campaign.

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