Belfast Telegraph

Call for legislation on medicinal cannabis after 'horrific and cruel' ordeal for Billy Caldwell

Charlotte Caldwell has said she does not wish for any other family to endure the "horrific and cruel" ordeal she and her son Billy Caldwell have been through.

It comes after a decision by the Home Office on Saturday to hand back medicinal cannabis needed by Billy Caldwell for treatment for his epilepsy.

The medication was confiscated from Charlotte Caldwell earlier this week at Heathrow Airport as she made her way back from Canada with the drug.

Cannabis oil is used by Billy Caldwell to control his seizures, and after becoming the first person in the UK to receive a medicinal cannabis prescription last year he went more than 300 days without an incident.

On Saturday Home Secretary Sajid Javid approved the use of cannabis oil in line with advice from doctors at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where Billy is being treated, who stated it was a medical emergency.

The Castlederg 12-year-old experienced a number of seizures after having his treatment withdrawn. 

The news was welcomed by Conservative Party MP Crispin Blunt, who is the co-chair of the all party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, who said Home Office ministers would hope to avoid similar situations in the future.

"I hope will not be followed with a full review of policy and law in this area," he said.

On Sunday, Charlotte Caldwell told the BBC that Billy had taken two doses of the cannabis oil since the decision by the Home Office on Saturday.

She said that while she applauded the decision of Sajid Javid to grant a "lifeline" to Billy Caldwell to use the drug, she would not "stand by and let any other family in our country endure this experience. It’s absolutely horrific, it’s cruel".

On Billy's ongoing treatment she said: "The doctors here are very happy. They are not in any way that Billy shouldn’t have this medicine. They are in fact encouraging Billy continuing to have this medicine administered.

"I will be saying to Sajid Javid to please return the other six bottles that Billy needs, and let’s just stop this nonsense once and for all."

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