Mother Has Medicinal Cannabis Oil Confiscated From Epileptic Son At Heathrow Airport
Charlotte Caldwell, the mother of Billy Caldwell, has vowed to "get more" of her son's life-saving cannabis oil after it was confiscated at Heathrow Airport.
Caldwell attempted to bring the oil into the UK for her son, Billy, who suffers from severe epilepsy. Customs officers at London's Heathrow Airport confiscated the cannabis oil as they entered the country.
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Billy was given the medication last year to treat his epilepsy, marking the first time cannabis oil has been prescribed by the NHS in the UK. However, doctors were subsequently told by the Home Office to cease prescribing the oil.
Ms. Caldwell brought the oil to the UK from Canada, where cannabis is set to become recreationally legal this summer. She was then met by customs officers who subsequently confiscated the consignment of cannabis oil she had brought with her from Canada to treat her son.
Shortly after arriving at Heathrow, Caldwell met with Home Office Minister Nick Hurd and reported having an "honest, genuine" conversation with him though she was told her son's medicine could not be returned. She also noted that the customs officers at Heathrow were "absolute gentlemen... really, really nice." Sky News reported she was not cautioned by border officials.
Ms. Caldwell, concerned about her son, worries that without the cannabis oil, the seizures "will eventually kill him."
"It's a very sad day in 2018 that us parents who have children with this absolutely brutal condition, epilepsy, that we have to flee our own country to get medicine for our children," the mother told reporters.
Families of other children with conditions similar to Billy's met the two at the airport in a show of support. They intend to continue to campaign to make cannabis oil available in the UK.
Cannabis products containing THC are illegal in the UK under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. Though many have campaigned against the country's stringent laws on cannabis, the UK has yet to follow in the footsteps of the United States or Canada with regards to liberalizing its view on cannabis.