A Scottish mother has revealed that she intends to go on hunger strike outside Downing Street to pressure the British government into relaxing cannabis laws.
Karen Gray’s seven-year-old son, Murray, needs cannabis oil to treat a rare form of epilepsy that leaves him unable to eat, talk, and walk. He received a prescription for Bedrolite and Bedrocan from a Dutch doctor in March 2019, and it worked wonders, but it costs his family £1,200 ($1,550) per month to import it from the Netherlands.
Gray does not have that money available, so she has resorted to online donations to raise the funds to pay for her son’s medicine. She feels that situation cannot go on, as donations will eventually dry up, so she has been lobbying the government to end stringent NHS guidelines and allow Murray to gain a prescription from his local health authority.
Britain officially legalized medical cannabis in October 2018, but harsh and inflexible NHS guidelines – laid down by the Royal College of Physicians and The British Paediatric Neurology Association – have prevented all but a handful of patients from actually receiving it.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently sparked fury among campaigners by ruling that cannabis should not be used to treat MS and chronic pain. Yet the mainstream media continues to run poignant stories about sick children unable to gain access to the medicine they need, piling pressure on the government to act.
Gray is part of a campaign group called End Our Pain. Last month she joined a number of campaigners as they marched through Westminster to plead with the British government to make medical cannabis more widely available.
She said her lobbying efforts have not prompted a response, and she now plans to take drastic action. Gray claims that at least 17 other mothers will join her in going on hunger strike outside the Houses of Parliament until their pleas are answered.
“We’re at a desperate situation, we’ve absolutely had enough, we feel like we’ve got no option and we have to do something drastic,” said Gray.