Minister ‘informed mother to flout marijuana law’ for son with epilepsy

October 29, 2019 by erfa5t8

A federal government minister appeared to suggest that the mom of a child with serious epilepsy ought to unlawfully bring medical marijuana into the country, it has emerged.

The possibly life-saving medicine is effective for a variety of treatment-resistant conditions and will have been < a href= "https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/11/uk-to-allow-doctors-to-prescribe-cannabis-based-medicine-epilepsy-sajid-javid "title= "" class =” u-underline “> legal for a year on Friday. But, regardless of health secretary Matt Hancock’s assurances that it would be offered on the NHS within several months, there has not been a prescription for full-extract marijuana oil on the NHS reported given that its legalisation. Medical professionals have successfully been blocked from recommending it due to a lack of scientific evidence.

Now, it can be revealed that then junior health minister Seema Kennedy appeared to suggest to a mother that she could flout the law by buying medical cannabis overseas and bringing it into the UK without a licence, which would be prohibited.

Joanne Griffiths, whose son Ben’s seizures fell from 100 a day to 10 after he started taking medical cannabis at a cost of about ₤ 6,000 a month under private prescription, states that, at an occasion with Kennedy in June, she voiced her concerns over possibly criminalising herself. But she says Kennedy appeared to dismiss her stress and anxieties, and appeared to recommend she needs to go on.

He would return to hundreds of seizures a day, suffering dreadful injuries and most likely die

Joanne Griffiths, mother

Asked whether Kennedy, now the immigration minister, stood by her remarks, a government spokesperson stated: “The minister is clear that at no point did she advocate for her constituent to break the law and totally endorses the government policy. It is unlawful to import cannabis-based items for medicinal use to the UK without a Home Office importation licence.”

Nevertheless, according to a recording passed to the Observer, Kennedy informed Griffiths that bringing the products into the nation was among her choices. “So the alternatives, I guess, open are import licence, what else [sic] choices? Go and take a trip or get somebody to take a trip and bring it in,” said Kennedy.

In April, medical marijuana confiscated at an airport from Emma Appleby– whose nine-year-old daughter Teagan has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which can trigger as much as 300 seizures a day– was returned by the department of health after about a week. When Griffiths raised her issues, Kennedy is heard saying: “Well, you say that, and obviously, I expect strictly speaking, however I believe with– I can’t keep in mind Teagan’s mum’s name– they were launched rather rapidly, weren’t they?”

Griffiths, who is one of a number of parents lobbying the government for wider access to medical marijuana, said that she had informed Kennedy she would record their conversations. But the MP was unaware she was being recorded. Griffiths, whose application for an import licence was later declined, went abroad and returned with the medicine without notifying border guards. She said she did this due to the fact that she feared her child– who has such extreme epilepsy that he frequently wears a helmet– would pass away if he could not have the medicine.

” He would go back to hundreds of seizures a day, suffering dreadful injuries and probably die,” Griffiths told the Observer. “That’s the truth of it. That quantity of seizures does permanent damage to his brain.”

Joanne Griffiths and son Ben, wearing a protective helmet.


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_ blank “> Pinterest Joanne Griffiths and child Ben, whose seizures are so bad that he needs to use a protective helmet. Picture: Courtesy of Joanne Griffiths

Annoyed at the political and legal deadlock, families have actually accused business and middle-men of profiteering from excessive rates for privately prescribed full-extract marijuana oil. A number of households have actually threatened to go on cravings strike, and to camp outside 10 Downing Street, if open door is not widened by 1 November.

” We’re not prepared to wait any more,” said Griffiths. “We need urgent intervention now, but the authorities are failing us on every single level. I’ll cravings strike for as long as it takes, up until our children get the medication they need.”

SNP MP Ronnie Cowan, the vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on medical cannabis under prescription, stated that Kennedy’s remarks revealed that she comprehended how moms and dads were being forced into unlawful circumstances, and advised her to assist make medical cannabis complimentary on the NHS as soon as possible.

” For lots of people this is a matter of life or death,” he told the Observer. “They ought to not be fobbed off with faint pledges or motivated to break the law.”

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson was asked by Cowan when kids suffering from epilepsy would have the ability to access medical cannabis legally and at no charge.

In his action, the prime minister did not describe prescriptions of cannabis-based medications such as Sativex and Epidiolex, which have actually been provided to clients but are stated not to be as reliable as full-extract oil, which has a greater THC content– the psychoactive component of cannabis.

He informed your house of Commons he understood that individuals in requirement of medical marijuana were going through “desperate problems”.

” The chief medical officer and NHS England have made it clear that cannabis-based products can be prescribed for medicinal usage. It needs to depend on doctors to decide when it is in the best interests of their clients to do so,” he stated, prior to appearing to offer a meeting to provide more reassurances.

Nevertheless, Griffiths provided his remarks brief shrift and said the prime minister had yet to react to campaigners’ letters.

” They’re standing up in parliament and saying clinicians can recommend, but the NHS trusts are not permitting it. This is why we’re being required to do a hunger strike to bring this to Boris Johnson’s attention for him to urgently intervene.”

On Friday, Kennedy, MP for South Ribble, revealed she would stand down at the next basic election. The mother of three said she would be focussing on other concerns in her life.

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