Home Secretary Sajid Javid has told the House of Commons that the use of cannabis in medical treatment will be reviewed.
While ruling out any changes on recreational cannabis use, with the drug remaining criminalised as a Class B scheduled drug, the Home Secretary mentioned recent high profile cases.
Javid said that the plights of the families of Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell had led him to review whether drugs made from the plant could be used for medicine.
In both cases the parents of children with severe, damaging epillepsy had appealed to the Government to be allowed to give their children oil made from cannabis which they found essential to control their condition.
The Home Secretary said that Alfie, whose family had appealed to the Home Office would be allowed to treat their six-year-old with cannabis. The family had found that the drug arrested the 150 devastating fits that their son suffered every month when taken in a trial in the Netherlands. The family of Billy, 12, were granted a 20 day license last week to supply their son whose condition deteriorated after his supply was confiscated at Heathrow airport.
Billy’s mother Charlotte, speaking after Mr Javid’s statement, said: “Common sense and the power of mothers and fathers of sick children has bust the political process wide open and is on the verge of changing thousands of lives by bringing our medicinal cannabis laws in line with many other countries.”
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott welcomed the review, saying that it was “long overdue.”
The ground-breaking announcement comes four months after veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn’s Private Member’s Bill that would have paved the way for Alfie, Billy, and others like them to legally receive the medicinal cannabis they urgently need was filibustered by Tory and Labour MP’s. Flynn has another attempt to further his bill tabled for next month.