The mother of an epileptic boy who relies on medicinal cannabis to control his condition has praised the home secretary for introducing new rules that will allow doctors to prescribe cannabis from November.
Charlotte Caldwell, whose son Billy had his medication confiscated at Heathrow Airport in June before it was returned under special dispensation from the government, said Sajid Javid “kept his promise”.
Charlotte and Billy Caldwell. Image: Getty
Mr Javid announced a review into medical cannabis shortly after Billy, 12, was hospitalised when his medication was taken away. He recovered after the cannabis oil was returned and administered.
“The home secretary, he listened, he made a promise, and he kept his promise, he carried it through. I can’t thank him enough” Ms Caldwell told Eamonn Holmes.
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“Nothing’s going to change until the first of November, which is a long way off. It’s only October 11, what happens to Billy between now and then?” asked Holmes.
Ms Caldwell said Billy was “quite lucky” because, due to the government involvement in his case, he now has his cannabis-based medication prescribed by the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast.
“For me, Billy climbed a mountain and he moved a mountain. But we still have some work to do on the moving of the mountain,” Ms Caldwell said.
“We have to work now quite quickly and urgently on the training and educating of our NHS doctors, because we need to have them trained and educated in medicinal cannabis so they can write the prescriptions urgently for the people who desperately need it.”
'Long term review' into medical cannabis
Setting out the new regulations regarding cannabis-based products for medicinal use on Thursday, Mr Javid said: "This brings these products explicitly into the existing medicines framework.
"These regulations are not an end in themselves. The ACMD (Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs) will be conducting a long-term review of cannabis and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has been commissioned to provide advice for clinicians by October next year.
"The government will monitor the impact of the policy closely as the evidence base develops and review when the ACMD provides its final advice."