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The UK government has granted the mother of a 6-year-old permission to use medical cannabis to treat her sick boy.Hannah Deacon has gained permission to treat her son, Alfie Dingley, with CBD oil that contains a level of THC higher than what is usually legally permitted in the UK. Alfie suffers from a rare form of epilepsy known as PCDH19. This is an extremely rare condition that is only found in four other boys worldwide.
PCDH19 is a severely debilitating disease that can cause hundreds of seizures a day. In order to help Alfie cope with this disease, he and his family moved to the Netherlands in 2017 to legally acquire CBD oil.
Eventually, the family was forced to return to the UK when their funds started to run out. Since returning, Alfie has been hospitalised three times with his condition. Alfie’s father complains that the traditional, non CBD treatments that are far harsher on Alfie than cannabis. One of the treatments, steroids, have side effects that make Alfie more aggressive and hard to manage.
The legal exemption cane after Alfie’s parents met Prime Minister Theresa May. The meeting came after Alfie’s parents presented the government with a petition supporting Alfie’s access to medical cannabis containing over 380,000 signatures .
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.
Alfie’s cause has been supported by several prominent celebrities including Richard Branson, Patrick Stewart, and Joanna Lumley. Patrick Stewart himself uses medicinal cannabis to treat his arthritis has directly contacted the government to plead Alfie’s plight.
Alfie’s case indicates a move towards legalisation of medicinal cannabis in the UK. This could lead to legislation similar to those seen in the US and Canada.