Medical cannabis activists visited Westminster as part of a walking tour from Belfast to London to raise funds for the UK’s most vulnerable chronically ill in need of access to medical cannabis.
In 2018, Billy Caldwell, who lives with epilepsy, successfully campaigned for medical cannabis legalization in the UK. However, there is still no ongoing government-funded clinical research on the effectiveness of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis activists Billy and Charlotte Caldwell arrived in Westminster on Monday June 14th to request a round table discussion with Matt Hancock and the National Institute for Health Research.
Billy and Charlotte suggested a specially designed study for medical cannabis, and letters were personally delivered to the Department of Health and Welfare.
Access to cannabis in the UK
After the 1000 mile walk from their Belfast home across the British Crown Dependency Islands, Billy and Charlotte were joined by voters on College Green who advocated better patient access among their representatives.
The I am Billy campaign, supported by leading cannabis companies Kanabo, LVL Health Clinics, Medisonal, Grow Biotech and Northern Leaf, calls for the UK’s first specially designed study paid by the National Institute for Health Research to see patients with Illnesses receive their medication free of charge.
Currently, patient access to medical cannabis at the NHS is limited due to the lack of certified UK specific data to back up its effectiveness – and thousands of patients are receiving their potentially life-saving cannabis medication through private clinics.
Charlotte Caldwell, mother of Billy Caldwell, said: “Myself and Billy are overwhelmed by the fantastic support we have received while traveling the country – we have met friends, supporters and patients and we will not forget any of you.
“We arrived in Westminster today to meet MPs, deliver my answer to the Prime Minister, and resolve once and for all the agonizing impasse for patients and our wonderful NHS doctors. We politely urge Health Secretary Matt Hancock to sit down with us today to discuss the next steps to provide patients with access to government funded medical cannabis.
“We have the solution, the know-how and the team is ready to go. Let’s end the misery of cannabis patients by finally giving them access to the drugs that work for them while collecting much-needed data on the effectiveness and safety of cannabis medicines. “
Heather Wheeler MP said, “I am delighted to be supporting the ‘I am Billy’ campaign. It is extremely important that we organize this NHS study. The fact that Billy has now been without a seizure for 12 months is such an achievement that I want other people affected to have the same opportunities as him. “