Medical cannabis in UK: Billy Caldwell case renews debate over ‘inhumane’ laws

Medical cannabis in UK: Billy Caldwell case renews debate over 'inhumane' laws
Medical cannabis in UK: Billy Caldwell case renews debate over ‘inhumane’ laws:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/16/medical-cannabis-ukbilly-caldwell-case-renews-debate-inhumane/.

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 The case of a severely epileptic child who had his cannabis medicine confiscated by the Home Office has renewed debate about the UK’s strict medical marijuana laws.   Billy Caldwell, 12, was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on Friday after his seizures “intensified”, a family statement said.  His mother Charlotte told Sky News she was “absolutely devastated” that her son’s “brutal condition” had “returned with a vengeance”, adding: “He’s a beautiful, sweet, innocent wee boy who doesn’t deserve this callous treatment.”  She has said the Home Office will be held accountable if he dies, calling its actions “beyond cruelty”.  On Friday night the Home Office said it was in contact with with Billy’s medical team and would “carefully consider what options are available” if they advise a particular type of treatment is urgently required. What does the law say?  Britain is the largest exporter of legal cannabis in the world. The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said March that the UK produced 95 tonnes of legal cannabis in 2016 – more than double  the 2015 total of 42 tonnes.   The UK’s production now accounts for 44.9 per cent of the world total.  However, Britain has strict laws on the use of medical marijuana, which is not recognised as having any therapeutic value under the legislation. As a Class B drug, cannabis cannot be prescribed, administered or supplied to the public.  Some forms of cannabis oil treatments are allowed in the UK with a special licence from the Home office. But not if they contain the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the element of cannabis that creates the high. At a glance | Cannabis and the law  A limited number of medicines containing cannabidiol, a derivative of cannabis more commonly known as CBD, have been approved for use in the UK for conditions such as easing loss of muscle control in people with multiple sclerosis.  In June 2010 the UK authorised the use of the Sativex, which contains both THC and CBD, to relieve the pain of muscle spasms for multiple sclerosis sufferers. It is available throughout the UK but only provided free on the NHS in Wales.  The NHS is currently conducting clinical trials of cannabis-based drugs for conditions including epilepsy, but those have yet to conclude. Q&A | Should I be taking cannabinoids?  The UK allows residents of other Schengen states to travel with their medically-prescribed cannabis into the UK as long as they have a certificate authorising this from their own country. The certificate is valid for up to 30 days.  However, British citizens who are prescribed medical cannabis abroad are not allowed to bring it back to country.  Contentious cases  The most-publicised cases that have stirred debate in the UK have involved Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley.  Billy, from Castlederg in Co Tyrone, started the treatment of cannabis oil in 2016 in the US, where medical marijuana is legal. At its worst, his condition causes him to
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Medical cannabis in UK: Billy Caldwell case renews debate over ‘inhumane’ laws