A 69-year-old woman is threatening to take her fight for cannabis right into the NHS hospitals. Health authorities are threatening to get her arrested her if she does so, but clearly they are embarrassed.
Patricia Tabram of Durham was found guilty in March last year of possessing and cultivating cannabis.
But she has continued to use the drug and said she would take it into Darlington Memorial Hospital to relieve pain after a kidney operation.
Bosses at the NHS hospital said they would call police if she brought in food containing illegal drugs.
Mrs Tabram, of Tudhoe Moor, Spennymoor, began taking cannabis four years ago to combat back and neck pain.
She said: "I want to go in and have the operation, but I want to be pain-free. Consultants and doctors have told me that cannabis is the best pain killer in the world.
"If I am going to die because I won't take modern medication, and I need the operation - I'll have it. But I will prepare my own medication in food."
A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "If there was a suspicion of a patient bringing an illegal substance into one of our hospitals it would be something we could not condone.
"The Trust has a duty to protect all patients and all drugs on NHS premises have to be prescribed to ensure we safeguard patients.
"If the Trust found a patient to be in possession of an illegal substance, we would be duty-bound to report the incident to the police."
Last year Mrs Tabram was convicted of growing and possessing cannabis and ordered to do 250 hours community work.