Local MP Drew Hendry has expressed support for 6 year old Alfie Dingley and his family in their quest to secure access to medical cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of Alfie’s very rare and severe epilepsy. Alfie is one of nine boys in the world with a genetic condition which causes him to suffer up to 150 life-threatening seizures per month. The only treatment available in the UK is IV steroids which doctors say are causing him mental and physical harm resulting in premature death.
Speaking at the event, Alfie’s mother Hannah Deacon said, ‘We have been so moved by the outpouring of support from people the length and breadth of Britain. And we have been heartened by the support of MPs and members of the House of Lords from across party lines. When we took Alfie to Holland we saw with our eyes that medical cannabis works for him, cutting his seizures down to just one or two less severe ones per month which could be controlled at home. Access to the oil meant Alfie had the quality of life he deserves, and we were able to be a normal family, not gripped by fear of the next life-threatening seizure. The delay in securing the Home Office licence that Alfie needs is putting his life at risk. Since we returned from Holland last month he has already been hospitalised three times. We’re very grateful to Drew Hendry MP for his support’.
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey MP, Drew Hendry said:
“Public opinion is ahead of Parliament on this issue, and whilst Alfie’s tragic case is shining a spotlight on the government’s policy, he is not alone. Over the past few years, countless constituents have pleaded with me to support the legalisation of medical cannabis to sooth the debilitating chronic pain they endure day in, day out.
“Indeed, over two hundred constituents have already emailed me to ask that I support Alfie’s family in their quest to access medical cannabis to save Alfie’s life. I was very glad of the opportunity to meet the family and relay that support, along with my own, in person.
“This isn’t about legalising cannabis as a recreational drug. Medical cannabis is legal in nations across Europe and many states across America, supported by a body of evidence from across the world. It is a drug that has the power to ease the pain of thousands of people suffering unimaginable pain through conditions such as MS.
“The SNP Party assumed the position that the possession of cannabis for medicinal use should be decriminalised back in 2016, and has already called for powers over drug control to be devolved to Scotland to enable this to happen. These powers are currently a reserved matter to the UK Government under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Therefore, along with a cross party group of MPs, I am urging the UK Government to urgently review this policy to support the Dingley family and the many other families suffering at home and in silence.”