These people were not "spared jail" - they were given suspended sentences which one day they may serve if caught again - it puts them in an unenviable and cruel position of having to choose between pain and less effective pharmaceutical pain-killers with side-effects, or prison.
Nelson couple who grew cannabis for arthritis spared jail
Lancashire Telegraph, August 26 2011
A COUPLE from Nelson who grew cannabis to treat the effects of arthritis have been spared jail by a crown court judge.
Police raided the Sansbury Crescent home of Jacqueline Yorke and Kenneth Laird last December, Burnley Crown Court heard.
And when officers arrived, Yorke immediately started to cry and told them about the cannabis plants growing in her back bedroom.
Police found a sophisticated set-up in the spare room, with lighting equipment, fans and reflective panels erected.
Yorke said she suffered arthritis in her hip and had found the drug eased the condition.
Yorke and Laird, both aged 45, admitted producing cannabis.
Laird was given a six-month prison sentence and Yorke four months, each suspended for 18 months. Each must pay £200 court costs.
Laird must carry out 120 hours community service and Yorke 100 hours.