People who bring medicinal cannabis into the UK should not have the drug confiscated, MPs say – The Telegraph
People who bring medicinal cannabis into the UK should not have it removed by the Government on arrival, MPs have said.
Parliament’s Health Select Committee today urges the Home Office to stop confiscating cannabis from the parents of sick children.
The parents of Billy Caldwell, 13, and Teagan Appleby, 9, have had medicinal cannabis confiscated at the airport and later returned.
Both use the drug to control their severe epileptic seizures.
The committee said it was “cruel” to remove medicine from families with severely ill children.
But the Government said UK Border Force is required to enforce the law, which makes it illegal to import unlicensed cannabis.
Although medicinal cannabis was legalised in the UK in November, prescriptions are subject to strict guidelines and can only be written by a select number of specialist doctors.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of the Health Select Committee, said “expectations were unfairly raised” by the Government when the drug was legalised, and the Department for Health did not make it clear to patients that the legalisation would not lead to prescriptions becoming widespread.
“There needs to be far clearer communication that this is not the case,” she said.
Basia Zieniewicz of the Cannabis Patient Advocacy Services said: “It is both cruel and unethical to confiscate life saving medicine at the border and threaten parents with criminal sanctions for merely doing what they believe is in the best interests of their child’s health and wellbeing.
“It is unfair on patients and their families if they are asked to wait years for research to be conducted and for clinicians to prescribe.”
A Government spokesman said: “We will carefully consider this report and its recommendations alongside the outcome of the NHS England review into the use of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in the NHS.”
This article originally appeared here in https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/02/people-bring-medicinal-cannabis-uk-should-not-have-drug-confiscated/