Mother’s stand-off with British authorities over medicinal cannabis stirs debate

LONDON (Reuters) – The mother of an epileptic boy who journeyed to Canada to buy cannabis-based medication she says is keeping her son alive had her supplies confiscated by British customs officials upon her return on Monday.

Charlotte Caldwell, and her son Billy, stand outside the Home Office during a break in a meeting with officials to discuss how Billy can have his severe epilepsy treated with cannabis oil, which is a banned substance in Britain, in London, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The case has ignited a debate about the medicinal use of cannabis, a drug which is illegal in Britain and which the British authorities do not recognize as having any medicinal benefits.

Billy Caldwell, 12, had been receiving medicinal cannabis oil on prescription by his doctor for just over a year, but supplies ran out after the Home Office (interior ministry) ordered the doctor to stop prescribing it.

Billy’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell, says that without the cannabis oil her son has up to 100 seizures a day, each of which is potentially fatal.

Charlotte Caldwell, and her son Billy, walk out of the Home Office with MP Orfhlaith Begley, during a break in a meeting with officials to…

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