Sick Children May Have Been The Kicker For Medical Marijuana In The UK

4 of the 9 medical doctors who sit in the UK's House of Commons have come together to form all-party parliamentary group (APPG) to push for medical marijuana. The man spearheading the initiative says this is really about getting sick kids the treatment they need.

Former UK health minister and part-time general practitioner Dan Poulter has invited fellow Conservative Andrew Murrison as well as the Labour Party's Paul Williams and Philippa Whitford of the Scottish National party to join an APPG charged with pushing for medical marijuana legislation in the UK. The group is being co-chaired by former Tory justice minister Mike Pennings. He estimates that they currently hold the support of 80 UK politicians.

Poulter says the biggest motivator behind the new push to bring medical marijuana to the UK are sick children. In recent months there have been two high-profile cases involving children who had to leave the UK to get the treatment they needed elsewhere.

“What these cases help to do bring into focus some of the absurdities about the law at the moment,” Poulter told The Guardian.

One of these children is Alfie Dingley, a 6-year-old boy who took a 300,000 signature petition to the Prime Minister. When his family was denied medicinal marijuana at home they relocated to the Netherlands so he could be treated.

The other is 12-year-old Billy Caldwell. An epilepsy patient whose doctor was reprimanded for giving him a cannabis perception.

Billy's mother, Charlotte, says she met with Poulter and is supporting his effort.

"This is so important. This now is about every child in our country that’s suffering from this brutal condition. And now is the time to get these children their medicine, to give them a better quality of life."


After making progress on marijuana reform, the legalization movement has stalled in two New England states. Cannabis became legal in Vermont last July, but state lawmakers did not put a regulated market for marijuana in place at that time. So while adults in Vermont can possess, grow and consume cannabis, they can't buy it legally.

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