Cannabis campaigning Lanarkshire mum to stand in 2022 local elections – Daily Record
Campaigning East Kilbride mum Lisa Quarrell is to run for Labour councillor in next year’s local elections.
Ms Quarrell told Lanarkshire Live politics is the “next natural step” for her amid her three-year battle to access medical cannabis on the NHS for her severely epileptic son.
The 40-year-old project officer for UNISON Lothian Health will contest the seat for East Kilbride Central South – which covers Westwood and The Murray – where she lives with her two sons Dylan and Cole.
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Former cop Ms Quarrell this week expressed her delight at being selected as a candidate, saying: “I am proud and humbled to be given the chance to represent my community as the Labour candidate for East Kilbride Central South ward.
“I have been extremely active in my community for over 10 years now; fundraising for charities, running community driven events and being a special needs football coach.
“After spending the last three years on my son Cole’s campaign, running for council was my next natural step. Labour got behind my campaign and supported me personally.
“This completely reinforced my Labour values as both the current Tory and SNP governments have created a two-tier system in our NHS which in my view goes against everything it was created for.
“I appreciate many people will know of me through my campaign on behalf of Cole. I have been relentless in my campaign to have cannabis-based medicine available on NHS Scotland or to have the Scottish Government finally commit to put funding in place to help my family and families like mine be able to keep their children safe while giving them the best quality of life we can.
“To date, they have been insensitive to my campaign and countless young people and others continue to face an uncertain and difficult future.”
Ms Quarrell was so desperate to save her nine-year-old son from paralysing epileptic seizures, she smuggled cannabis oil into Scotland to treat him herself.
Cole Thomson was fighting for his life but in a matter of weeks the Canberra Primary pupil went from up to 16 seizures a night to none.
However, Lisa’s battle goes on as Cole’s crippling epileptic seizures have since returned.
“I’ve done no more than any loving mother would do for their child”, added Ms Quarrell. “It has taught me invaluable lessons to challenge authority when it fails to listen and made me stronger in my resolve to take on an unresponsive bureaucracy.
“There are too many in our community who are voiceless and need a champion to speak up for them. I believe my experience makes me an ideal choice for people who want someone to be on their side and to represent their interests as a local councillor.
“My record shows that I’m determined, tireless when I’m fighting to correct an injustice and that I don’t take no for an answer.
“Cole’s campaign is not over yet and I will continue to fight to give Cole and other children the right to live their best life. I have already garnered so much support for Cole, from the East Kilbride community in particular, for which I will be forever grateful.”
If elected, Ms Quarrell says her first priorites for improving the local community will be illegal dumping of waste, dangerous potholes, mindless vandalism, and out-of-control anti-social behaviour.
She also plans to campaign for more inclusive, accessible play parks for the disabled and more investment in play equipment to keep children safe.
Ms Quarrell continued: “I’m passionate about my community. I have a wealth of knowledge from previous campaigning and life experience after being in the police for over ten years.
“Just a short while ago the SNP council were forced to ditch their plans to close down essential services in East Kilbride. Too many people tell me that East Kilbride is not the town it once was. The sense of local community has gone with too many young people struggling to get proper housing.
“We now know that the SNP/ Green Scottish Government have imposed an even greater cutback in support to our local council which will mean that if the SNP get control again in May those services will once again be subject to closure.
“My priority will be to make things better as I have the natural energy, commitment and campaigning experience that will make a big difference. I’m keen to serve my community, but for that to happen and to ensure we protect and improve our local services, the good people of East Kilbride only need to do one thing and that is to make me, Lisa Quarrell, their number one vote at the May 2022 elections.”
Serving councillor Gerry Convery will be seeking re-election in the EK Central South Ward alongside Ms Quarrell.
The full list of East Kilbride local election candidates will be released following the nominations deadline on March 30.
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