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UK Home Office releases cannabis oil to epileptic boy, despite cannabis being illegal

If the Home Office provides the necessary licensing, schedule 1 drugs like cannabis can be studied and used in clinical trials

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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Could medicinal cannabis soon become legal in the UK?

Based on recent happenings, it is a possibility. The nation was shocked to hear about 12-year-old epilepsy patient Billy Caldwell having his medicinal cannabis oil confiscated in June.

Billy and his mother Charlotte made the long journey to Canada to obtain the THC-rich oil, before being stopped by customs officers upon flying into London and having it confiscated. The doctor was forced to stop prescribing the medicine for Billy, who endured several seizures afterward, resulting in him being hospitalized at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

What happened next came as even more of a shock. Britain’s interior minister Sajid David released the oil for the young boy, who was prescribed it by a Canadian doctor for the treatment of epilepsy.

Politicians call for changes to cannabis laws in the UK

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/19/billy-caldwells-mother-director-cannabis-oil-company-helps-fund/

Home Secretary Sajid David released the medicinal cannabis oil to Billy Caldwell

Billy’s case has drawn attention to the medicinal powers of cannabis oil and its potential as a treatment for seizures.

Politicians from various parties have shown support for the young boy’s family and have since campaigned for UK cannabis laws to be amended.

“This morning, I’ve used an exceptional power as Home Secretary to urgently issue a license to allow Billy Caldwell to be treated with cannabis oil,” Sajid Javid said in a statement on June 16.

“My decision is based on the advice of senior clinicians who have made clear this is a medical emergency,” he added.

When speaking with reporters outside the hospital where her son was being treated, Charlotte Caldwell claimed her son experienced no seizures when he was using the oil. The devoted mother has also called for changes to UK cannabis laws.

“No other family should have to go through this sort of ordeal, traveling halfway around the world to get medication which should be freely available to our desperately ill children,” she said. “This is a wake-up call for our country. In the 21st century, we need to have a more humane policy, not panic measures. I hope the government reflects upon what happened and what they’ve put our family through these last few days.”

The Home Office has a duty to stop forbidden substances from entering the UK

Image result for billy caldwell sajid javid

Charlotte Caldwell has called for changes to UK cannabis laws

Originally from Northern Ireland, the Caldwell family’s experience has been met with support from political party members, one of whom was Conservative Party politician, Dan Poulter.

Up until the Home Office stopped his prescription, Billy’s family doctor had prescribed the oil for more than a year.

Although the Home Office did show empathy for Billy’s case, it made clear its duty was to prevent banned substances from making their way into the UK.

Cannabis is a schedule 1 drug under British law. Since this classification means that the drug has no therapeutic value, Billy’s case could drastically change the way the Home Office views cannabis.

If the Home Office provides the necessary licensing, schedule 1 drugs like cannabis can be studied and used in future clinical trials.

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UK Home Office releases cannabis oil to epileptic boy, despite cannabis being illegal