CHARLOTTE CALDWELL COMMENTING ON THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MEDICINAL CANNABIS EXPERT PANEL

June 28, 2018 

Commenting on the Government's announcement of the medicinal cannabis expert panel, Charlotte Caldwell said: 

"After yesterday's historic announcement from the Home Office regarding the new expert panel to assess applications for medical cannabis I so want to be upbeat today. 

"It has become clear there is one obstacle in the way. The Home Office has moved really quickly but this process cannot be effective when almost no clinicians or doctors know anything about medicinal cannabis. 

"It is 16 days since Billy's medicine was confiscated and 11 days since it was transferred from the vaults of the Home Office into the hands of doctors at the hospital. 

"Eleven days may be enough to create a bureaucratic process but it was never enough time to train medical professionals to administer a medicine that could have put them in prison at the start of the month. This process cannot work without an urgent investment in doctor training. It is clear from the calls I am receiving today and from feedback from Families 4 Access that clinicians have neither received guidance nor are many even aware that this announcement has been made. 

"It is vital now that the Home Secretary's speed of response is matched by the Health Secretary. There is no child that has time to wait, whether it be my own little boy Billy or any other child in the United Kingdom.

"Finally, we need clarity as to whether the panel members have any expertise in medicinal cannabis." 

BASIA ZIENIEWICZ