Alfie Dingley's Mum Learns That He Will Be Allowed Cannabis Treatment
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Here is the incredible moment that the mother of sx-year-old epilepsy sufferer Alfie Dingley found out that her son would be able to access the medicinal cannabis that has been successful in treating his life-threatening seizures.
Hannah Deacon was giving an interview live on ITV News when the story broke that the Home Secretary was to grant her son a license for the cannabis oil that has been used with great effect to treat his illness.
She broke down in tears on air, saying: "It's amazing news, thank you very much for letting me know."
Alfie suffers from a rare form of epilepsy that causes him to have around 150 seizures every month, but the cannabis oil has reduced that number to only one seizure per month. Each one of his seizures could be potentially life-threatening.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid told members of the House of Commons that while the ban on recreational use of cannabis would continue, he will be looking into the benefits of prescribing medicinal cannabis for certain conditions.
He told MPs: "It has become clear to me that the position we find ourselves in currently is not satisfactory.
"It's not satisfactory for the parents, it's not satisfactory for the doctors, and it's not satisfactory for me. I have now come to the conclusion that it is time to review the scheduling of cannabis."
However, he warned: "This is in no way a first step to the legalisation of cannabis. We will not weaken our ability to keep dangerous drugs off our streets."
The UK currently doesn't recognise any therapeutic properties of cannabis, despite several other countries having legalised cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Yesterday it was agreed in Parliament that an expert panel should be established to investigate individual cases to see if there would be any benefit from cannabis-related treatment.
Home Office minister Nick Hurd announced the formation of the expert panel in the House of Commons yesterday.
He said: "I recognise the need to ensure the approach to licensing works more effectively.
"This is new, this is difficult, we need to get this absolutely right, not least to make sure these licenses stand up to legal scrutiny.
"There is a process, we are feeling our way, but it does need to be done properly."
MPs seem to be broadly in favour of the legalisation of medicinal cannabis, with some asking why it should be that doctors are legally allowed to prescribe heroin-based medicines, but cannabis-based ones are still prohibited.
The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also said that the current laws that are in place are incorrect, and that 'a different way' should be found.