Sir Patrick Stewart has emerged as a major advocate for a six-year-old to gain access to medical marijuana.
Alfie Dingley has an extremely rare form of epilepsy and can suffer up to 150 potentially life-threatening seizures per month. Dingley’s conditions improved in Holland, where he could treat his symptoms with cannabis oil and didn’t experience a single seizure in 27 days. But since returning to the UK, Dingley has been in the hospital three times in four weeks.
Marijuana remains taboo in the UK. Most medical patients cannot use medical marijuana to its fullest potential, as it’s essentially impossible to touch the plant itself, due to its illegal status under Parliament law. Patients have increasingly gained access to CBD oil, but Dingley’s case has raised support to legalize medical marijuana with nearly 400,000 people signing a petition.
Among those fighting for Dingley is Stewart, a noted cannabis user and activist.
“How could one not support Alfie?” Stewart told the Independent. “Hearing what his life has been and the benefits given to him by being able to use medicinal marijuana.”
Stewart revealed to GQ last year he uses medical marijuana to help deal with his arthritis. While living in the UK, his only solution was painful steroid injection between his knuckles:
I mean, my main problem is my hands don’t work very well. But thanks to cannabis they work much better than they used to. Thanks to the law in California now, it’s just a spray that I put on.
In support of Alfie Dingley’s case, Stewart reiterated his stance on medical marijuana and its benefits:
There has never been a stronger case for the legalization of medical marijuana. I have been registered for medical marijuana in California for over three years and have found it immensely beneficial for my arthritis.
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The Home Office rejected the Dingleys’ license for the drug this month, citing its illegal status meaning it cannot be provided to the public. However, ministers have said that he could obtain a legal prescription for marijuana under a possible clinical trial.
“Without this medication, we know that he will be going back to having steroids every four to 10 days,” said Alfie’s mom, Hannah Deacon. “He is a six-year-old little boy and he deserves to be safe, and well, and this will help him to be safe and well. And I will not stop until he has what he needs.”