After an appeal from the parents of a sick boy, the UK government grants 6-year-old permission to use medical marijuana. Hannah Deacon, the mother of Alfie Dingley, told the British press about the decision on Tuesday. Deacon said that the government will grant them a special license to use cannabis oil.
Cannabis oil with THC is illegal in the UK, although it can be easily obtained elsewhere in Europe.
Rare Form of Epilepsy
Alfie has a rare form of epilepsy known as PCDH19. Researchers believe that he and only four other boys in the world have the condition. The disease can cause up to hundreds of seizures per day.
Alfie, of Kenilworth, England, and his family had moved to the Netherlands in 2017 in order to legally procure cannabis oil for him. While there, the cannabis oil succeeded in lessening Alfie’s symptoms. But when funds ran out four weeks ago, the family was forced to return to the UK. Since then, Alfie has been hospitalized three times.
Drew Dingley, Alfie’s father, said that the family is very concerned with the downturn in his health.
“Alfie’s condition is worsening, which is obviously a worry,” he said.
Dingley also noted that the traditional therapies now being used are much harsher on the boy than cannabis.
“The steroids have side effects, they make people more aggressive and we’ve seen a change in his behavior. We just want our little boy back, our happy little six-year-old playing with his sister.”
Parents Meet With Prime Minister
The government’s decision came after Alfie’s parents met with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday. During the meeting, Alfie’s parents delivered a petition signed by 380,000 people supporting Alfie’s access to medical marijuana.
Deacon said that government officials had “approved in principle” the boy’s use of cannabis oil.
“We had a positive meeting, they accept the compassionate issuing of a license for Alfie,” Hannah said. “Now we need our medical professionals to write the prescription and they will expedite the license for him.”
Stars Come Out For Alfie
Popular British celebrities have also publically proclaimed their support for Alfie. Sir Richard Branson, Joanna Lumley, and Sir Patrick Stewart have all called on the government to help Alfie.
Stewart uses medicinal cannabis for arthritis while he is working in California. He has also called for research in the UK to study the effects of medical marijuana. He believes helping Alfie is the right thing to do and hopes the boy’s experience will also help other patients.
“How could one not support Alfie? Hearing what his life has been and the benefits given to him by being able to use medicinal marijuana,” Stewart asked. “There has never been a stronger case for the legalization of medical marijuana,” he proclaimed.
Final Hit: UK Government Grants 6-Year-Old Permission To Use Medical Marijuana
A spokesperson made it clear that the action in support of Alfie did not signal a move toward decriminalization by the May government.
“We have said when we’ve looked at this in the past that we are looking at specific solutions in relation to Alfie and what can be done to help him,” he said.
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