Epileptic boy's mother barred from bringing cannabis oil into UK

Charlotte Caldwell is risking her own freedom in her fight for her son, Billy, to continue to receive the medication he needs to keep potentially deadly seizures at bay.

Charlotte Caldwell was not cautioned when she was stopped after a flight from Toronto, Canada, and has vowed to obtain more cannabis oil to help her 12-year-old son, Billy, for whom she says it has proved to be an effective treatment.

Billy made history when he became the first person in the United Kingdom to be prescribed medicinal cannabis by the health service, and Charlotte's bold move presents a dilemma to the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, who will have to decide how to respond.

"They are parents themselves and they were very conflicted about removing the medication from me; in fact. one of them had tears in their eyes when he was doing it".

His mother Charlotte, 50, flew to Canada to collect a six month supply of the medication which stops her son having 100 seizures a day.

She said she will be meeting Mr Hurd at the Home Office this afternoon to plead to get the oil back.

Ms Caldwell, from Castlederg, said she was "absolutely devastated" to have the supply confiscated after she declared it to border officials.

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

"What Nick Hurd has just done is most likely signed my son's death warrant".

"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.

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

"The policing minister met Ms Caldwell and advised her that despite these extremely hard circumstances, it is unlawful to possess Schedule 1 drugs such as those seized at the border this morning without a licence", she added.

It said the department was sympathetic to the "difficult and rare" situation but defended the seizure.

"I take the view that I'd rather have my son illegally alive than legally dead", she said.

Billy was first given the treatment in the United States, where medical marijuana is legal.

But last month the Home Office told her GP to stop continuing to provide the drug, or face being struck off.

She was forced to travel to Canada last week after officials warned her GP that he faced serious consequences if he continued to write prescriptions for medicinal cannabis.



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