A mother has accused drugs firms of “playing God” with her son’s life after he was denied medicinal cannabis to treat his epilepsy.
Cole Thomson, six, has uncontrolled focal epilepsy which is drug-resistant. His mother Lisa Quarrell wants to try the treatment and is considering looking for a supply in the Netherlands.
“Cole’s team that look after him are amazing and I have no doubt if they could give me it they would.
“Basically, they said who gets it is up to the drug company who own it. I feel sad there’s someone getting to play God over my son.
Medics instead want to carry out invasive surgery in January, but Lisa said: “I want them to try this medication before I allow anybody to be drilling holes in my wee boy’s head. He’s already had brain surgery when he was two and had part of his brain removed then, and it didn’t work.”
There is an petition to get Cole his medicine: sign it here.
A dad who fears his epileptic son’s next seizure could kill him says the Irish Government is putting lives at risk by stalling on the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.
Brendan Gorman, 60, gave up work 17 years ago to become a full-time carer to his 24-year-old son Ryan who has an aggressive form of epilepsy as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Ryan suffers violent seizures at least twice a week and his dad sleeps by his side. Brendan told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “His last seizure was very severe, I thought I’d lost him. They are life-threatening, there could be an aneurism and he could die.
“He’s 6ft 4in and I’m 5ft 10in so he’s towering over me. To have that coming down on you at three in the morning is a challenge. It’s like a rugby scrum. I now have a hernia as a result of dealing with the seizures and I’m awaiting an operation.
Ryan’s neurologist has recommended a CBD oil dosage costing €300 per week – which Brendan can’t afford since their combined weekly allowance is €400.
Brendan, from Clondalkin in South Dublin, said: “That’s three- quarters of our money gone straight away before you pay a bill or put food on the table, so it’s not doable.
“I can’t understand why the Government is dragging its heels on this. It’s so unfair to us and countless other families out there who are facing the same situation.
“It’s a struggle for me but I don’t feel comfortable putting Ryan in respite care because unfamiliar surroundings could bring on a seizure.”
Jeff Smith – Chair of the All-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform and Labour MP for Manchester Withington – has written a column in the Manchester Evening News calling for drug misuse to be seen as a public health, saying that legalising and regulating drugs such as cannabis could reduce the harm to users and wider society, save taxpayers’ money, and cut drug-related crime in Greater Manchester and across the country.
Citing Britain’s record drug-related deaths this year, he says: “We know these deaths are entirely preventable because it wasn’t always like this – the UK was once the world leader in pioneering methods to protect drug users, such as needle exchanges and heroin prescription services.
“But in 1971, the Government passed the Misuse of Drugs Act and, overnight, users were pushed into prisons rather than clinics, and international criminal cartels gained exclusive control of a lucrative market.
“A legal, regulated cannabis market would protect us from harm in the same way as alcohol licensing prevents us from purchasing 80% proof moonshine or toxic tobacco.”
A businessman has vowed to take the Home Secretary to court to open a private cannabis club in Manchester.
Mike Dobson, who has served two short sentences at HMP Preston for cannabis cultivation, has been told that his initial application for a licence has not yet been considered.
“We have the constitutional right to apply for that licence under Section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act,” said Dobson. “There’s no difference to having a licence for driving or owning a firearm. For the Home Office to refuse even considering a licence is unconstitutional.”