UK changes course, allows cannabis oil for epileptic boy

The British government on Saturday changed course over a case concerning the use of cannabis oil, saying an epileptic boy can be treated with it after his mother said he needed it to survive severe seizures.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he has agreed to urgently issue a license to allow Billy Caldwell, 12, to be treated with the substance. He said his decision was based on advice from senior doctors who have made it clear that Caldwell, who was hospitalized overnight, faces a medical emergency.

Javid said the government’s immediate priority was to make sure Caldwell receives “the most effective treatment possible in a safe way.”

Cannabis oil is banned in Britain. Authorities seized it from Charlotte Caldwell, the boy’s mother, when she tried to bring it into the country Monday.

She said her son suffered two severe seizures overnight, and that the cannabis oil is the only substance that can prevent life-threatening seizures for Billy.

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