What is the Home Office playing at? 13th March 2018
There is a long history of cannabis extracts being used in the UK to treat childhood Epilepsy, Dr W.B. O’Shaughnessy was administering cannabinoid extracts for severe forms of Epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome as far back as 1840.
In 1971, the Misuse of Drugs Act was enacted and at the stroke of a pen Doctors in the UK lost the power to prescribe tinctures of cannabis as the Government had ruled cannabis to “have no medicinal value”.
This child is suffering a seizure, watch this amazing video and see how quickly THC-a can bring a child out of a severe seizure episode.
In the UK, there are approximately 60,000 children under 18 with epilepsy.
Symptoms include seizures, the intensity of which varies depending on the severity of the condition.
Dravet syndrome affects one in every 40,000 children in the UK.
In some US states and European countries parents and Doctors are successfully treating children suffering from severe forms of epilepsy with cannabinoid extracts and understandably, parents in the UK want access to similar preparations.
Professor Helen Cross a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) reported in May 2017;
“120 children with Dravet syndrome across Europe and the USA were given two daily doses of CBD (cannabidiol) orally for 14 weeks. At the end of the study the average number of severe seizures reduced by nearly 40%. For 5% of patients, seizures stopped completely”
“The results of this study are significant and provide us with firm evidence of the effectiveness of CBD. This drug could make a considerable difference to children who are living with Dravet syndrome and currently endure debilitating seizures.”
As Professor Cross’s clinical trial indicates; for 5% of the children involved in the study, severe seizures “stopped completely” and as CBD is not a controlled drug here in the UK parents are free to administer preparations of CBD to their child without legal interference.
However, for 95% of children, CBD alone was not sufficient to eliminate the most severe life-threatening seizures and in these cases the administration of another cannabinoid, THC-a could have been effective.
“We never imagined how well it would work (THC-a), He’s just a six-year-old boy, he deserves a happy life. We’ve found something that makes him happy and now we’ve got to take that away.” source
Alfie Dingley, from Kenilworth, Warwickshire, can suffer up to 30 seizures a day. His mother said they had decreased dramatically in number and severity while he was in the Netherlands being treated with a prescribed, (THC-a) cannabis-based medication.”
The law in the UK
Within the two main acts of Parliament covering “controlled drugs”, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA 1971) and the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDR 2001), controlled drugs are placed within one of five schedules. Cannabis is in schedule one alongside MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD, which are deemed to “have no medicinal value”.
The Home Office has stated to Hannah Deacon and the media, that THC-a;
“cannot be practically prescribed, administered or supplied to the public”.
The acts of cultivation, supply, possession, and production of cannabis are restricted as per the regulations in the MDA 1971 and the MDR 2001, yet despite these controls, it will surprise many in the UK that the importation, possession and administration of THC-a (as a compound) is not regulated or restricted by any current UK drugs legislation.
The Drug Licencing Unit of the Home Office responded to my direct question;
“Is the cannabinoid THC-a a controlled drug in the UK?”
This raises more questions
Q – As THC-a is not a “controlled drug”, why is Hannah Deacon or indeed any other parent having to seek permission from the Home Office for a special license or permission to import, possess or administer THC-a to their child?
Hannah Deakin is currently fighting a battle with the Home Office for her son Alfie to receive THC-a in the UK.
Darren Gibson says that he is being forced by the Home Office into taking drastic action to take his daughter Sophia to visit The Netherlands to receive THC.
“We are not meant to be any further than 30 minutes from the nearest hospital as Sophia takes status seizures which is a seizure which lasts more than 30 minutes and could be fatal or result in her being in intensive care”
“We know we are taking a risk travelling with Sophia in her current state but we have no alternative as we need Sophia to be on this medication”
Q – why was I arrested “for possession of THC-a with intent to supply” to the parent of a seriously ill child?
“I would call on people, and I know we’re not supposed to do this as members, to break the law.
“To come here (to Parliament) and use cannabis here and see what happens and challenge the Government, the authorities, to arrest them and take them in.
“That’s the only way we can get through the common mind of the Government, which is set in concrete and the whole laws are evidence free and prejudice rich – let’s see them do that.”
After travelling to Parliament later that day I was arrested for possession of THC-a on 23rd February outside Parliament and I was released “pending further investigation”, it seems that the Metropolitan police do not understand UK law, but that is another (ongoing) story.
There are in excess of 5,000 stable individual strains of cannabis plant producing in excess of 80 cannabinoids, the most well known is THC, responsible for the psychoactive effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol-acid is the form of THC produced by the cannabis plant and it is non-psychoactive.
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