IT IS described by those who depend upon it as a “miracle” drug, alleviating both physical pain and mental illness.
But the British Government nevertheless refuses to acknowledge the benefits of medicinal cannabis oil – or allow those whose lives have been transformed by it to receive their medication in a safe, legal, regulated manner.
“There is clinical evidence from countries including America, Canada, Australia, Israel and the Netherlands that cannabis oil has provable benefits for those suffering from some very debilitating conditions,” says Peter Reynolds, president of Clear, who are campaigning for a reform of the law.
“Why would those places allow its use if there wasn’t a legitimate reason for it?”
This week Charlotte Caldwell, whose 12-year-old son Billy has a severe form of epilepsy that can give him up to 100 seizures a day, was stopped by officials at Heathrow after trying to “openly smuggle” illegal cannabis oil into the country from Canada.
Billy’s medicine was confiscated under orders from Home Office minister Nick Hurd.
Last year Billy, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, became the first child to be prescribed cannabis oil on the NHS – and his condition improved immediately, reportedly going 250 days without a seizure.
However the Home Office overturned the ruling and his GP was ordered not to renew the prescription.
In desperation Charlotte travelled to Canada for what she described as “a small bottle of oil that’s keeping my son alive” and yesterday vowed to return to Canada to “get more and bring it back again”.
She also said that she feared that without the cannabis oil the seizures would “eventually kill” her son.