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UK: Watton mother Callie Blackwell will campaign at Parliament to legalise cannabis after she gave it to her ill son

Rebecca Murphy

Eastern Daily Press

Tuesday 10 Oct 2017

A mother from Watton who gave her dying son cannabis is lobbying MPs at Parliament today in bid to legalise the drug for medicinal use.

Callie Blackwell will join other campaigners in London as part of the protest organised by United Patients Alliance - which campaigns for patients to legally access medical cannabis to treat their chronic conditions.

Labour MP Paul Flynn will raise a Ten-Minute Rule Bill for medical access to cannabis, an illegal drug in the UK, in the House of Commons.

Mrs Blackwell’s son Deryn was given days to live by doctors when he was 13.

Diagnosed with leukaemia at 10-years-old, 18 months later Deryn, now 17, was told he had he had another cancer - Langerhans cell sarcoma - which only five people in the world currently have.

He underwent three failed bone marrow transplants and was told by doctors that a fourth attempt would be his last chance.

But Deryn got an infection and with no immune system he was given days to live.

In her book, The Boy in 7 Billion, which was released in April, Mrs Blackwell tells of her decision to secretly give Deryn cannabis to help ease his pain and stop him being addicted to the drugs he was being administered.

Speaking to the EDP in April Mrs Blackwell said she was “left desperate and willing to try anything”.

Mrs Blackwell said after giving her son the drug in liquid form he was more relaxed and he no longer wanted the medication doctors were given him.

His blood count rose and his immune system recovered.

Speaking ahead of the protest this afternoon Mrs Blackwell said she wants cannabis to be an option at the beginning of treatment and “not a last ditch thing like it was for me”.

She said: “Twice, I watched cannabis save his life when all other treatment had failed. I took his life in my hands and it saved him.”

She added: “It frustrates me and it makes me angry as people are dying.

“It is a matter of life and death and people are suffering needlessly every day.

“I am frustrated and angry and that is why I am going to Parliament today. We cannot keep being quiet. We need people to say I consume it and it helps me.”

Mrs Blackwell said the protest today is asking the government “to be sensible” but is also to raise publicity of the topic.

“It is getting the majority of people in this country to know cannabis is not something to be afraid of. People need to go out and do their research and look at science.

“We need to see more public support behind it so it can put pressure on the government.”




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