A multiple sclerosis sufferer who has used cannabis illegally to ease her pain says she is delighted she will soon be able to get the drug on prescription.

Former nurse Pauline Taylor, 53, of Durham City, who has bought the drug from dealers to smoke but has latterly used specially-made cannabis chocolate, has been campaigning for the drug to be made available legally for medical use.

Now the Home Office has agreed to allow Sativex, a spray that is manufactured in this country but is currently not licensed for use here, to be imported from Canada where it has been on sale since late June.

It will be available provided doctors agree to prescribe it even though it has still not been officially licensed.

"I'm so excited about it,'' said Mrs Taylor. "It will make an enormous difference to me. I will be able to have a decent dose of cannabis to help my pain and the spasms I have. I have been arguing about this year for years.''