A mother of a boy who suffer from uncontrolled epilepsy is pleading with lawmakers in the UK to provide safe and legal access to cannabis oil for other children suffering from similar conditions. Charlotte Caldwell, mother of 11-year-old Billy Caldwell, says her son has been free of seizures for 21 days thanks to the cannabis oil.
For their part, the medicine regulatory body for the UK has acknowledged that cannabis oil can be a medicinal treatment, and they suggest anyone considering use it talk with their doctor first. However, the medicine is still not available in the UK, and Charlotte had to take her son to California in the United States to get treatment.
She says that, while she isn’t claiming it is a cure, it is clearly the best treatment that many children with the condition can find:
“What we have to remember is these are kids who have tried every other pharmaceutical drug that there is out there, cocktails of drugs, maybe four or five at the one time, and they are failing.”
Luckily, she was at least able to take the medication back to the United States without customs officials stopping her at the airport.
The medication that Billy is using does contain the psychoactive element of marijuana, THC. The non-psychoactive counterpart, CBD, is not restricted in the UK, but there are no licensed providers of the drug, so it is still not legally attainable. However, it can be prescribed by doctors under special circumstances. Due to long wait lists, however, Charlotte was forced to leave the country.
Before using the oil, Charlotte says her son was having as many as 22 seizures a month:
“It’s a life-threatening form of epilepsy that he has, we had no choice but to go there. The seizures are brutal on a little boy. In the past weeks he has been more focused, had more eye contact more social engagement, taking more interest in his books and toys.”