Opinion: Denying access to cannabis oil is about politics not medicine – The Independent


here can’t be anything crueler for a parent than having found a medicine that prevents your child from experiencing up to 300 seizures a day to then have the treatment blocked by legal bureaucracy. Turns out that this can be trumped.  

Two years ago, Charlotte Caldwell fought and won a battle against the Home Office’s ban on bringing medicinal cannabis into the UK to help treat her then 13-year-old son Billy. But the protracted arrangement which allowed the medicine to be imported from Canada is coming to an end. The mother is once again having to take on the government to ensure her son’s access to cannabis oil continues and is calling on the UK government to honour its promise of allowing access to these medicines through the NHS.

In 2018, the government changed the law on medicinal cannabis to ensure children like Billy could access cannabis-based medicines. Sajid Javid, the then home secretary, made this legal change having reviewed the evidence on their effectiveness in treating conditions like childhood epilepsy. This raised the hopes of many parents and adults who thought that their years of struggling to use medicinal cannabis products legally had arrived. It seems their hopes were raised heartlessly, with only a handful of prescriptions issued via the NHS since the law change. 

This article originally appeared here in https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/voices/cannabis-oil-medicine-billy-caldwell-nhs-health-b418464.html

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