Medical cannabis activists Billy and Charlotte Caldwell have arrived in London after their sponsored 1,000 mile walk to raise awareness of their I Am Billy campaign.
The couple traveled to the Department of Health and Welfare from their Co Tyrone home to hand over documents about their campaign and to request a meeting with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The campaign calls on the government to support the NHS ‘first clinical trial of medicinal cannabis and calls on the NIHR to fund it.
In 2018, epilepsy Billy and his mother Charlotte successfully campaigned for medical cannabis legalization in the UK, but there is no ongoing government-funded clinical research on the efficacy or safety of medical cannabis.
This study could enable patients at risk with illness to receive their medication for free.
Billy, Charlotte and our wonderful supporters! @ DomDay5 @AlexFraserCanna @GrowPharmaUK @KanaboGroup Northern Leaf, Medisonal and LVL Health pic.twitter.com/93zgUOHTkb
– I’m Billy (@iambillyuk) June 14, 2021
On Tuesday the two plan to visit Downing Street to present Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr. Hancock suitcases with their initials engraved, Hogwarts approval letters and I am Billy t-shirts.
Ms. Caldwell said: “I come with a hand of friendship, I come with a solution.
“I am the mother of an experienced patient. Today I am emotional but hopeful. This campaign can and will save lives. “
In the past 16 days, Billy has walked approximately 262 miles and over 250,000 steps, and campaigners have joined him along the route.
Ms. Caldwell added, “It was amazing and Billy exceeded my expectations. He just overwhelms me again and again that Billy achieved this despite his devastating condition. “
The I Am Billy Foundation aims to conduct real-world studies in nonprofit clinics that demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis.
It also wants to financially support vulnerable, chronically ill patients by offering prescribed, unlicensed medical cannabis to those who do not meet the study criteria.
Former professional rugby player from Wales turned CBD entrepreneur Dominic Day was also there to support the campaign.
Mr. Day and English rugby player George Kruis founded their CBD company fourfivecbd, which supplies high quality CBD products, after personally experiencing the benefits of injury recovery throughout their athletic careers.
Commenting on his involvement in the campaign, Mr. Day said, “I followed Billy from the start. Its story was a massive reason for medical cannabis legalization in the UK and I think everyone is frustrated with the lack of exercise and the ability to write prescriptions for access to this amazing plant.
“Patients have to come first. Even after the prescriptions are written, there is still a huge financial burden on the people, so we need to fund this and we want to get this amazing drug into the hands of the people who need it. “
The two were also joined by sponsors and funders from the I Am Billy Foundation, including Northern Leaf, Grow Pharma, Medisonal, Kanabo, and the LVL Health Clinic.
The JustGiving campaign raised £ 11,257 of the previous £ 15,000 goal.
Billy was the first person in the UK to be prescribed medical cannabis funded by the NHS, but he fought for five years to get his essential medication.
On May 2nd, Billy celebrated being seizure free for a year.