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British mother pleads for return of son's seized cannabis oil

12 June 2018

British mother who says her son needs cannabis oil to prevent risky epileptic seizures is pleading with British officials to return the supply she recently obtained in Canada.

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 made the trip to Toronto and back with 12-year-old Billy to get a six-month supply to treat up to 100 seizures a day, but said border officials seized the oil on Monday.

Twelve-year-old Billy Caldwell made history when he became the first United Kingdom recipient of an NHS prescription for cannabis. She described the contraband as "a small bottle of oil that's keeping my son alive".

"I am praying that airport staff will let us through with Billy's life-saving medicine", she said.

Heathrow officials handed Ms Caldwell a letter from Mr Hurd requesting a meeting at the Home Office.

She said Billy was due his next dose at 3.30pm, and warned of the dangers of missing his first treatment in 19 months.

"It's Billy's anti-epileptic medication that Nick Hurd has taken away, it's not some sort of joint full of recreational cannabis", she said.

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

"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.

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

Mother and son, who live in the British province of Northern Ireland, flew to Canada over the weekend to get some more of the medication, but it was seized when they arrived at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday morning.

"I am praying now that we can get medicinal cannabis accessible to all the other children, and give their mummies and daddies back their right to hope, but most importantly give their children back their right to life".

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

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

The doctor was recently summoned to a meeting with Home Office officials and told to stop prescribing the drug which is banned by law. However, his GP was later ordered not to renew the prescription.

British mother pleads for return of son's seized cannabis oil