How one sick boy could end UK's medical marijuana ban

Henrietta Strickland
June 21, 2018

However, Javid made clear that the government had no plans to relax its stance on the recreational use of marijuana - unlike Canada, which on Tuesday voted to legalize its use across the country.

His mother, Charlotte Caldwell, has called for the laws governing medicinal marijuana use in Britain to be liberalized, saying cannabis oil is the only treatment that has warded off her son's seizures.

Charlotte Caldwell from Castlederg last night also confirmed that she has been asked to sit on a parliamentary advisory panel to "represent all the father and mothers nursing children" with "status epilepticus", the most unsafe form of the condition.

"We are on the threshold of the next chapter of the history book".

Mr Javid told MPs he had the "utmost sympathy" for the families of children like Billy and six-year-old Alfie Dingley from Warwickshire, who has a rare form of epilepsy that causes up to 150 seizures per month, and being forced to travel overseas for treatments. While Caldwell said they'd "achieved the impossible" in regards to the medication's return, she emphasized that the fight was far from over.

William Hague, leader of the Conservative Party from 1997 to 2001, urged the government to consider legalizing cannabis to realize what he said would be economic and social benefits from pushing crime gangs out of the trade.

"Cases like Billy's. and others like him have shown that we now need to look more closely at the use of cannabis-based medicines in the healthcare sector in the United Kingdom", he said.

The UK home secretary, Amber Rudd said the decision was prompted by recent high-profile cases of children with severe epilepsy being denied access to cannabis oil to control seizures.

"No parent can stand by and watch their children suffer".

"I know that they are following a gut parental instinct to do whatever is in their power to try to alleviate the suffering of their child".

The cases of Billy Caldwell and other sick children have put Britain's drug laws under scrutiny.

"Cannabis is illegal for political not medical reasons", he told Reuters.

His mother said he had been free of seizures for about 300 days due to the treatment, but the Home Office recently ordered the doctor to stop prescribing the oil.

"The position we find ourselves in now is not satisfactory".

"I think it's very important as a country that we don't confuse this debate around specifically prescribable products for certain medical conditions with a much more generalised debate around the decriminalisation or legalisation of marijuana, without at the same time reminding ourselves that there are some genuine health risks there", Mr Stevens told a conference in London.

He warned of the risks of addiction to cannabis and long-term psychiatric problems such as depression and psychosis, as well as possible damage to lungs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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