Charlotte Caldwell considering taking son Billy back to Canada

Billy Caldwell, 12, had been receiving medicinal cannabis oil on prescription by his doctor for just over a year, but supplies ran out after the Home Office (interior ministry) ordered the doctor to stop prescribing it.

Immigration authorities have confiscated potentially life-saving cannabis medication after a mother and her epileptic son returned from a 7,000 mile weekend round trip to collect it.

"Ms Caldwell has therefore had cannabis oil seized this morning at Heathrow Airport upon landing from Canada".

"But most importantly it has given Billy the right to life".

"I'm just going to turn around and go get some more, and keep doing so until the United Kingdom authorities see sense", Charlotte Caldwell said in a statement. "So what Nick Hurd has just done is most likely signed my son's death warrant".

Families 4 Access, a campaign group seeking access to cannabis medicines for United Kingdom children, tweeted its support for the Caldwells and urged followers to email the minister asking for the medication to be returned.

The Home Office invited Charlotte Caldwell to meet Nick Hurd, a junior minister in charge of policing, to discuss the issue.

The medication was confiscated at London's Heathrow airport by officials who said it is not certified for use in the UK. "I have asked him to give Billy back his medicines, but he said no".

Twelve-year-old Billy Caldwell made history when he became the first United Kingdom recipient of an NHS prescription for cannabis.

"The reason they don't do it is that it can cause really bad side-effects - they wean them down slowly".

The Caldwells are also being supported by elected representatives, with Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Órfhlaith Begley accompanying Ms Caldwell to the meeting with Mr Hurd. The doctor in Canada prescribed this as an anti-epileptic medication, that is what it is for Billy.

"The medicine to alleviate Billy's epileptic fits should be readily available to him and not the subject of political dispute around the illegalities of drug misuse".

He said: "The battle for Billy's lifesaving drug could be avoided if only the Home Office would let common sense prevail".

The Home Office said it is "sympathetic to the hard and rare" situation faced by the Caldwells, but defended the seizure.

Under British law, cannabis is listed as a schedule 1 drug, meaning that it is not recognised as having a therapeutic value.

He became the first person in the United Kingdom to receive a prescription after his local GP, Brendan O'Hare, began writing scripts.

A United States doctor originally prescribed him medicine which his mum says stopped the seizures and significantly improved his quality of life.



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