Wednesday, February 21, 2024

British Children With Seizures Are Changing Political Minds About Cannabis

On June 11, 12-year-old Billy Caldwell was stripped of his cannabis-based medication at Heathrow Airport. Caldwell suffers from status epilepticus, a seizure disorder that sometimes lasts hours, often turning the boy blue. They are horrifically severe seizures and can be fatal.

After the medication was taken from the boy and his mother, the two waited for days while the government took its time. Thankfully, a few days after the event, Britain’s home secretary Sajid Javid stepped in and allowed Caldwell to have his medicine back.

The entire debacle has sparked a national debate, however, and it sounds like Britain is seriously considering the prospect of allowing for medical cannabis in the not so distant future.

William Hague, a former leader in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party, wrote in The Daily Telegraph that once the government had conceded and allowed the cannabis oil to be used, that “as far as marijuana, or cannabis, is concerned any war has been comprehensively and irreversibly lost.”

That was quite the concession on Hague’s part, as he used to be a “zero-tolerance” drug policy champion. Let’s talk about the real champion here, though. Basically referring to Javid as a hero without a cape on the talk radio station LBC, the mother of Caldwell couldn’t be happier to have her boy as healthy as possible in a circumstance that could have gone in the opposite direction very easily.

The New York Times reported that on Tuesday, Javid told lawmakers that the current way of dealing with cannabis, “is not satisfactory for the patients, it is not satisfactory for the doctors and it is not satisfactory for me.” And though he is clearly in favor of medicalization, he did make it clear that these were not steps toward broad legalization, despite what the public is buzzing about.

Javid also allowed for another little boy with severe seizure disorder, Alfie Dingley, to have a special licence to use the plant. Dingley is only 6-years-old and suffers through up to 150 seizures per month. PM May was supposed to have helped the family going on three months ago, but Javid stepped in again. The hero who will hopefully press for broad medical marijuana laws in Britain as soon as he’s able to break through the wall of prohibition.

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