Biz Ivol plans to take her own life

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Digit, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. A wheelchair-bound cannabis campaigner plans to take her own life with an overdose of paracetamol and champagne after putting her case to legalise the drug at a court case next week.
    Biz Ivol, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, is already planning her own funeral and has had a cardboard coffin delivered to her home in Orkney. She says she desperately wants to end her life because of the crippling pain from the illness which makes her feel like a prisoner in her own body.

    However, she has pledged that she will first of all fight her charges of possessing and supplying cannabis, which she claims alleviates her suffering.

    Yesterday, her MP said the case highlights the plight of MS sufferers and hopes this will be the last prosecution of its kind in the UK.

    Mrs Ivol, 56, from South Ronaldsay, a long-time supporter of legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes, was charged following a police raid at her home in August 2001.

    Her trial, which has been postponed several times, is now due to he heard next Wednesday at a sports centre in Kirkwall, which has better wheelchair access than the sheriff court.

    She has pleaded not guilty to three charges of possessing cannabis, producing two cannabis plants and being concerned in the supply of the drug to others. The charges relate to cannabis-laced chocolates which she is accused of making and distributing to fellow sufferers across the UK.

    Yesterday, as a friend assembled the eco-friendly coffin, which arrived in a flat pack, she said: "I’m going to use it as soon as the court case is over. I’m too tired now to fight on.

    "I feel no-one is doing anything to make things better for people with MS and that I no longer have any quality of life. I can’t do my garden. I can’t knit and I can’t sew because my hands are dying. I can’t read because my eyes are going - there’s nothing worth staying for anymore on this earth."

    She added: "I’m not frightened about what might happen to me. They can’t put me in jail because of the condition I’m in. They can’t fine me anything because I haven’t got any money. And I’m already a prisoner, trapped inside a body that’s full of pain and doesn’t work anymore."

    Mrs Ivol, who says her pain is like barbed wire being dragged through her spine, began a campaign six years ago for the legalisation of the drug for medicinal use by people with MS and other conditions. It followed an earlier court case, when she was admonished after police found cannabis plants growing at her home.

    She said: "I’ve lost count of the number of phone calls I’ve had from people telling me not to give up the fight. But the court case will be my last stand. I’m fed up with fighting now. It’s taken them two years to take me to court. It’s been niggling away at the back of my mind - once it’s over, I know I can’t go on any longer."

    Her neighbour, Bobby McCutcheon, said friends are devastated by Mrs Ivol’s decision, but understand her desperation.

    "It’s just so sad to see the coffin waiting for her in the house. She really has lost all hope, she has no interest whatsoever in being alive," he said.

    Last year, David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, relaxed the law on cannabis possession, downgrading the drug from Class B to Class C.

    At the time, Mrs Ivol told The Scotsman the decision made the position "as clear as mud" and said she was determined to debate the merits of cannabis use at her trial. Her plight has won backing from Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, and the Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA).

    Mr Carmichael said: "This is a tragic case. Biz is just wrung out with a combination of the disease and the campaign. Hopefully, this will be the last of these prosecutions. If it were, it would be quite fitting and give her some sort of comfort and satisfaction. I have told Tony Blair [the Prime Minister] that it is ridiculous that we make a criminal of someone simply trying to get relief from pain which is not available in any other way."

    Source: Scotsman (UK)
    Author: John Ross
    Published: Friday, June 13, 2003
    Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2003

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  2. great share digit!

    this is a crazy story..sad to hear, sure stirs up plenty emotion..its really is to see or hear about someone in so much pain that it comes to even more stress, as if they dont struggle enough, then they put up fights against their own government
  3. for some annoying reason i cant post comments on anymore... so i'll post it here instead.:

    I come from Orkney too and have been following Biz's progress for more years than many. The treatment she has had to endure from the authorities would be enough to drive a healthy person over the edge. I've spoken to her on the phone a couple of times and know her to be a lovable realist, strong willed and strong in character. I really hope she lives to see a day when her prescription of cannabis comes in the post.

    Other people have died from this barbaric law that helps only a handful of capitalists. how many more must it take before governments finally act in accordance with teh wishes of the people and not the business proposals of teh well financed?... too many already.

    i remember when i first took up the quest of helping to get cannabis legalised. it was not long before Peter McWilliams died. how long has it been? 4 years? I have to ask myself... has it been worth it? have we come far? or are we just as screwed as ever? :(

    One of these days we will get things put right and we shall start to correct the wrongs of the past 3/4 of a Century.

    Biz... if you're reading this...
    you're an inspiration to us all. stay strong until the very last like i know you will, and one day we'll all be toking our vapourisers in toast to you and that which you helped us achieve for the good of society.

  4. ‘Life's too difficult' – MS woman
    Cannabis campaigner considers final protest
    (Story dated: October 17, 2002)

    Suicide could be the final protest of Orkney MS sufferer Biz Ivol, who says her disease has become almost unbearable to live with.

    Spending up to 18 hours a day in bed because, she claims, of a lack of care, has led her to consider taking her own life.

    “That has been the plan from the start of this disease. I have always thought when the disease became too bad, I would not want to live with it any more,” she said this week.

    After receiving a telephone call from The Orcadian, the Orkney Islands Council community social services department agreed to investigate Mrs Ivol's current care package.

    Head of strategic services at the social work department, Ms Gillian Morrison, said: “We were concerned that Mrs Ivol is unhappy with her current care services. As with anybody, who would like a review of their care services, we have advised Mrs Ivol in order to help her with this.

    “We are working with Mrs Ivol to find ways of supporting her, to better meet her needs.”

    The 56-year-old, is due to stand trial at Kirkwall Sheriff Court in November on charges of supplying, possessing and growing cannabis – a drug she says helps alleviate the painful symptoms of the disease.

    Mrs Ivol has campaigned vigorously for the legalisation of the medicinal use of cannabis, but she says the stress involved is slowly killing her.

    “I am turning completely spastic. Life has got too difficult now. I am in a hell of a state now and turning into a skeleton. My home help has been cut back. At the moment I get one hour in the morning and half-an-hour in the afternoon.”

    According to Mrs Ivol, a carer comes to her home at Craigflower Cott, Herston, South Ronaldsay, at 9am, for an hour, and another returns at 3pm for half-an-hour.

    “I spend 17 hours in bed just watching TV. I'm not fit to get myself in or out of bed. I'm fed up asking for more help.”

    She also claimed that her current home helps, through no fault of their own, were not trained in lifting and handling properly.

    “Once I asked for help a couple of weeks ago when on the toilet. My legs were not very strong and she (the carer) tried to help, but I fell on the floor. They are not trained for things like that. It is not the home help's fault, it is the home help department.”

    Around two years ago, Mrs Ivol said she volunteered to go into care, but claimed she was told that nowhere was available.

    “They (the Orkney Islands Council social work department) had workmen come down to adapt the house for a wheelchair. I was quite prepared to go then, but now they have spent all this money adapting the house, I don't want to go now.”

    When Mrs Ivol was first diagnosed with MS, she likened the symptoms to having numb patches over her body. Now, she says, it feels like all the muscles in her legs have been torn, twisting in knots.

    “I have a pain up and down my spine all the time. Because I am so used to pain, it is an everyday part of life.”

    Recent physiotherapy has helped, Mrs Ivol admitted, although it has come “too little, too late”, she said.

    “For a long time I did not get any physiotherapy, or exercise or anything. That has made things a lot worse. But I have been getting physiotherapy (once a week for 20 minutes) for three or four weeks from the Balfour Hospital. The physiotherapist can feel a difference in my legs. I have been told my muscles are still there but I need more physiotherapy and more help around the house.

    “The doctor has been nagging me about eating properly, but I have had to stop cooking, as I kept burning myself and having accidents. For a while I lived on two packets of crisps and a bar of chocolate every day. I get fed once a day at 3pm when the carer gives me something to eat.”

    In the beginning, although Mrs Ivol said suicide was an option, she believed that she could live with the disease.

    “I have always thought I am going to get better – right up until last year, I thought I was going to get better. But the symptoms have piled on so fast – that is all down to the stress. Suicide would be a final protest.”

    The director of the OIC social services department, Mr Harry Garland, who is on holiday this week, was alerted to the alleged problems last week.

    At the time he said a member of staff would be sent to see Mrs Ivol, to review her case.

    “If someone flags up unhappiness with the package we would review that, to see if it met her needs. You have referred it to us. I will get someone to go and see her.”

    Mr Garland maintained that Orkney was one of the best providers of care in Scotland.

    Regarding Mrs Ivol's claims that she spends 17 hours in bed every day, he said: “Spending that length of time in bed would be very far from normal. None of our staff would assess it appropriate to spend that amount of time in bed.”

    Mrs Ivol said this week she had been visited by several care staff and a psychiatric nurse.

    “All I want is to be kept warm and fed and to be kept clean.”
  5. Posted by CN Staff on June 17, 2003 at 08:51:28 PT
    By John Ross
    Source: Scotsman UK

    The government is being urged to stop prosecuting people who use cannabis for medicinal purposes following an Orkney woman’s threat that she will take her own life after fighting a court case tomorrow.
    Biz Ivol, 56, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who is confined to a wheelchair, has already had a cardboard coffin delivered to her home in South Ronaldsay and says she will take an overdose of paracetemol and champagne to end her suffering.

    But first she will fight charges of possessing and supplying cannabis, which she says eases her suffering.

    Friends and backers of the campaign to legalise cannabis for medicinal use have rallied to her support and have highlighted the case to Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, and David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, and called for it to be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.

    They have also sent a petition to all Scottish ministers calling for the "inhumane" prosecution to be justified.

    The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA) has urged the Home Office to seek the views of Mrs Ivol and other MS sufferers on the issue. Addressing ministers, Don Barnard, a spokesman for the LCA said: "This is not about legalising cannabis or scoring points, it is about justice and therefore should be of interest to everyone, regardless of political allegiances.

    "My concerns are that Biz will do this terrible act - who am I to say whether she should or should not - but I do feel that her suffering alone demands that you seek her opinions and views, give her a hearing.

    "Please can you also bring this sad case to the attention of the Prime Minister and your colleagues in the cabinet."

    Alan Buffry, the LCA’s national co-ordinator, added: "I am sickened to my heart to hear what is happening to Biz Ivo. That she was ever arrested and charged in the first place is an outrage.

    "The prosecution of Biz Ivol is a gross misuse of an unjust law. Who will stand up and accuse her of doing or intending harm to anybody? Only those paid by the state to do so.

    "How can any public official have the heart to withdraw the supply of an essential medicine from someone who is clearly unable to cope without it?"

    Hamish Crisp, of the Alliance for Therapeutic Cannabis (ACT) also questions the decision to prosecute Mrs Ivol in a letter to Ms Jamieson.

    He told the minister: "As an MSP, we would presume you are not a God-less atheist.

    "So could you explain how driving Mrs Ivol into her grave can ever be morally justified?

    "We are all medicinal cannabis users, and the treatment we get from the authorities in this country is leaving us in suicidal despair.

    "Surely, in a civilised society, we could expect to be helped, not driven into our graves for using the only medication available to us."

    Mrs Ivol has already won backing from Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, who said he hopes Mrs Ivol’s prosecution will be the last of its kind in the UK.

    Mrs Ivol was charged following a police raid at her home in August 2001. Her trial, which has been postponed several times, is now due to he heard at a sports centre in Kirkwall which has better wheelchair access than the island’s sheriff court.

    She has pled not guilty to three charges of possessing cannabis, producing two cannabis plants and being concerned in the supply of the drug to others. The charges relate to cannabis-laced chocolates which she has allegedly been making and distributing to fellow sufferers across the UK.

    She is a founder member of Therapeutic Help for Cannabis MS Sufferers which helps distribute the Canna-choc products to sufferers.

    A spokesman for the group said yesterday: "Canna-choc would not be available to MS sufferers without Biz Ivol’s selfless efforts.

    "We are forced to ask ourselves why is the prosecution of a disabled woman for medicating with cannabis, a drug that will be licensed for MS in the next three months, in the public interest?"

    Biz Ivol Petition:

    Newshawk: Druid
    Source: Scotsman (UK)
    Author: John Ross
    Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2003
    Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2003

    Related Article & Web Site:

    Legalise Cannabis Alliance

    Cannabis Campaigner To Take Own Life
  6. i hope she doesnt die either, but i respect her right to end her own misery, and if i was in her shoes i would just want it to end too.
  7. Source: The Herald, Glasgow
    Author: Stephen Stewart and Keith Sinclair
    Date: 02 Jul 2003

    A terminally ill cannabis campaigner said yesterday she will commit
    suicide despite hearing that the criminal case against her will be dropped.

    Biz Ivol, who suffers from MS, was arrested two years ago following
    allegations that she was supplying cannabis to other people with the
    debilitating disease across the UK.

    It is believed Ms Ivol's agents notified her that the case, due to call at
    Kirkwall Sheriff Court in Orkney today, would not proceed further because
    of the deterioration of her health.

    Ms Ivol said that she would continue with plans to end her life after her
    symptoms worsened during the court case, which attracted widespread media attention to the medicinal use of cannabis.

    "People with MS must avoid stress and over the last 18 months I have
    lost my balance, my eyesight, and I am paralysed from the chest down," she said. "I have been kept in limbo for two years since the day I was raided. I am not pleased that the case will be dropped and I am still very cross.

    "I was willing to take my case to the higher courts and the European
    Court of Human Rights, if necessary, but they knew that they wouldn't stand a chance. I regret making the sheriff and the fiscal go through all this but I am not sorry for what I did."

    Ms Ivol has received hundreds of letters offering support but was
    unable to reply after losing the use of her hands. She has always made clear her intention to end her life as her physical condition declined.

    "The plans are all made. I don't want to fight on much longer. I did plan
    to walk into the sea but now I can't use my legs. I have made the arrangements and have bought a plot of land for a grave," she said. "I am
    just too tired to fight on much longer. I can't start a fight to recognise euthanasia."

    Ms Ivol had entered not guilty pleas to three charges involving the possession, production and supply of cannabis.

    Last night, cannabis campaigners welcomed the decision to abandon the

    Jim McLeavy, spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance from East
    Kilbride, said yesterday : "I think the Crown Office is doing a U-turn in
    this case because they are embarrassed and ashamed at taking action against a dying woman.

    "I welcome the fact that they have apparently seen sense, even at this
    late stage, but it should never have come to this. They should never have
    charged her or taken things this far. All she was doing was trying to help
    other MS sufferers."

    He added: "She has had two years of misery and the legal action taken
    against her has not helped her health and probably made it worse. I feel
    for her. She has done a very positive thing and stood up to this bad law
    even when she is terminally ill and I think she has been very, very brave."

    Steve Barker, administrator of the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis based
    in Norwich, said: "Biz Ivol is a remarkable woman. I have spoken to her several times and there were many people from the south of England planning to attend the trial.

    "However, I hope that her case has made people take notice of the
    medical values of cannabis in helping relieve the symptoms of people who are ill, many terminally like her.

    "Cannabis has been proved by medical trials to be twice as effective as prescribed painkillers, with less side-effects, and Biz Ivol's case has
    highlighted this. It's a pity she has had to suffer so much in the process."

    - July 2nd
  8. voila... the case dismissed after years of stress and torment caused to biz.

    dont you just love justice? they killed her. much the same as they killed Peter McWilliams. they can kill me too if they want but they can never kill the truth as much as they try.

    She survived her overdose suicide attempt. :(

    I wish her all the best in whichever way she seeks relief from this madness she's had to endure.

    The woman at the centre of a controversial cannabis court case has received treatment for a suspected drug overdose. An ambulance took Elizabeth Ivol, also known as Biz, to hospital from her south Orkney home on Wednesday morning.

    A spokeswoman for NHS Orkney speaking at the island's Balfour Hospital has described Mrs Ivol's condition as stable.

    It is the latest twist in the case of the wheelchair-bound Multiple Sclerosis sufferer who was due to be told that a court case accusing her of supplying cannabis to others was to be dropped.

    The 55-year-old had claimed she would take her life once the trial was over and said she had already made arrangements for the funeral.

    On Wednesday she expressed disappointment that the Crown would tell Kirkwall Sheriff Court in Orkney that it did not intend to proceed with the case on the grounds of Ms Ivol's health.

    She had wanted to use the case to publicise her campaign for the legalisation of medical cannabis, which she said is the only drug which eases her pain. Mrs Ivol told BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme on Wednesday that her final protest would be to overdose on pain killers.

    She said: "With a bit of luck I will get stoned before I do it and then I will go to sleep. Then it will be over and done with and someone else can take over from me - I'm tired."

    Mrs Ivol had denied three charges in relation to the handling of cannabis when she appeared at Kirkwall Sheriff Court.

    She has said her life would not be worth living without the drug.

    Cannabis Chocolates

    Mrs Ivol told the court she came up with the idea for what she called her "special Belgian chocolates" after agreeing to help a non-smoking MS sufferer.

    She developed a formula for the drug-laced confectionery as well as cannabis patches which can be directly applied to the skin.

    Mrs Ivol added that she had tried a long list of legal medication supplied by her doctor but claimed some of the drugs had "horrific" side effects.

    The court heard her day-to-day life had become almost unbearable since she was diagnosed with the incurable condition in the early 1990s.

    Mrs Ivol said: "At the moment I feel like somebody's pulling barbed wire through my spine.

    "I have muscle spasms and my eyesight's failing but it has not gone yet. It is very, very painful.

    "I'm completely and utterly paralysed from the neck down, more or less."

    She said she resisted using cannabis for two years because of the stigma attached to the drug, but eventually gave in and began smoking one cannabis joint each evening.
  10. i just hope she can find some peace and clossure soon.

    what better message could be sent too.

    we the people (regardless of our individual medical conditions) NEED this plant to be fully legalised if not, then AT LEAST for those who truely TRUELY need it. we need it so much that there are those willing to give their lives and suffer years of torture for it.

    the message that cant be beat is....,
    here someone is, to take their life using a legal substance because the ilegal substance she's been fighting for is completely non lethal.

    i share in the sentiment posted by thc101.

  11. you type [size=X]whatyouwanttotypediferentsize[/size

    where X is from 1-10 i think 2 is normal.. might b 3 i cant remember.

    and remember to put the last ] on.. i just left it out so u could see.
  12. UK: Cannabis Woman to 'Try Suicide Again'
    Newshawk: Legalise Cannabis Alliance
    Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jul 2003
    Source: Herald, The (UK)
    Copyright: 2003 The Herald
    Authors: Stephen Stewart and Robbie Dinwoodie
    Bookmarks: (Biz Ivol) (Cannabis - Medicinal) (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


    BIZ Ivol, the terminally-ill cannabis campaigner, yesterday described how she tried to end her life with 25 paracetamol tablets, two-and-a-half joints, and a glass of lemonade.

    She said: "I am so disappointed that I'm still here. Now I can't wait to get home. I'll make sure I do it properly next time." From her bed in Balfour Hospital, Kirkwall, Ms Ivol said regaining consciousness after the unsuccessful suicide at-tempt was like "waking from a nightmare".

    Ms Ivol, an MS sufferer, tried to raise awareness of the medicinal uses of cannabis during a high-profile court case.

    The 56-year-old had faced three charges of possessing, distributing, and producing can-nabis, but prosecutors an-nounced earlier this week that the case was to be dropped because of Ms Ivol's deteriorating medical condition.

    "Once I knew the case had been dropped, I knew I could fight no longer," she said yesterday. "I just decided when I went to bed that there are plenty of people who can carry on the fight for the medicinal use of cannabis to be legalised."

    After smoking a joint in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Ms Ivol, from Herston, South Ronaldsay, took 10 paracetamol tablets with a glass of lemonade. "I felt happy and relaxed after smoking the joint and I soon fell asleep. I woke up a couple of hours later, smoked another joint and took another 10 paracetamol.

    "I wasn't feeling guilty or upset, just happy that things were coming to an end and that I was in no pain. I woke again at about 5.30am and, as the paracetamol didn't seem to have worked, swallowed five more tablets I found lying in the bed.

    "I smoked half of another joint and figured out it would be at least another four hours before anyone found me, and that the paracetamol should have worked by then. But I was still fully conscious when my next door neighbour came round just before 8am and I told her what I'd done."

    Ms Ivol's condition was described as comfortable, but she was still struggling to come to terms with her failed suicide attempt. "I'm really cross with myself and I feel like having a good cry. I don't want to live any more. This disease has taken over my body and life is just too painful for me to carry on.

    "I'm going to commit suicide properly next time. Waking up in hospital and finding that I made a mess of it was like a nightmare for me."

    She also described the disappointment after hearing that her court case was being dropped. "I was bitterly disappointed. It was not how I wanted it to end. I wanted to change the law. I wanted to go all the way to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights."

    Margo MacDonald, the independent MSP, said her case had shown the need for the executive to use its legal powers to halt prosecutions for the medical use of cannabis. She recognised overall drug policy was reserved to Westminster, but argued that criminal law and prosecution policy was devolved to Holyrood.

    "We need to look at possible derogation on prosecution where there is a certificate from a GP on, for example, a case of multiple sclerosis. The fiscal and the police could decide that use of cannabis or its supply for pain relief could be dealt with in a sympathetic way."
  13. [sise=10]bastards[/size]

  14. I spelled size wrong lol..

  15. You can do it THC

  16. thnx budhead,
    thnx thc101,

    that cheered me up a little.
  17. Demonstration in London to highlight "plight" of Biz Ivol

    A demonstration to "highlight the plight" of MS sufferer Biz Ivol took place in Parliament Square, London, this afternoon.
    A spokesman for the Legalise Cannabis Alliance said the demonstration was to raise awareness of Mrs Ivol's "battle with the Scottish Criminal Justice System".

    idk anymore than that yet.
    just found it on the local paper's site.
  18. Cannabis campaigners prepare for second Westminster demo

    Cannabis campaigners are planning to return to Westminster again tomorrow, spurred on by the public response to last week's spontaneous demo highlighting the plight of Orkney MS sufferer Biz Ivol.

    The organisers say the protest is primarily to call for an explanation as to why Biz Ivol's prosecution took so long and ask why medicinal cannabis users are being taken to court.

    if anyone is in the westminster area... or can get into london at all, i strongly urge you, i beg you.. please please plese go along. for the sake of us all. if you have any compassion for the sick and dying... please.... go, just stand around to show your support.
  19. the world is a sick place and it makes me wounder if the next is better....

    who the hell has the right to tell you what medicine your aloud to take, if it makes you feel better, at least better enoughf not to take your own life, then you should take it in my opiion. but what is my opinion.....:(

    on the brighter side the laws in california now say that if you get a card, wich biz could easily get in her state, you can smoke all the reefer you want and have 12 plants, Sadly I dought that biz will want to leve her homeland at this point

    i hopes she finds happiness

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