Mid Ulster councillor’s plea on legal cannabis use

Charlotte Caldwell, with her son Billy
Charlotte Caldwell, with her son Billy

An Ulster Unionist councillor has made an impassioned plea for members of Mid Ulster Council to support the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

George Shiels has tabled a motion at the monthly meeting calling on councillors to back Charlotte and Billy Caldwell in their campaign with the Home Office to allow the use of cannabis oil.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s meeting, Councillor Shiels said the oil has had “miraculous benefits for Billy”, and was the only hope for the child who lives with daily epilepsy attacks.

On Tuesday Charlotte and Billy delivered letters to 10 Downing Street and the Home Office demanding the government take steps to change the law.

Magherafelt Town councillor Mr Shiels said: “There are those who are reluctant to use something derived from such a notorious substance but I’d say to them that using something good derived from something bad is the very essence of Homeopathy.

“I also would counter with the fact that another legal drug supplied on prescription regularly to millions is Opiod derived, like Heroin. That drug is Tramadol and it has addictive properties well documented, however if used properly it has helped many. Tramadol does give a mild feeling of wellbeing, a slight high. I know this to be true as I have taken it when necessary.

“The government is guilty of double standards in the case of Billy Caldwell and I believe is soft on the rule of law on our streets, where illegal drug taking and pushing is running rampant, while the hard face of the Home Office exercised the full rigour of the law in the case of Billy Caldwell, a most unwell child of 12.

“I must caution though that great care must be taken to fully research the claims made praising the benefits of this oil. It has been proven in Billy’s case, but if the benefits are going to be in just one or two isolated cases then the world at large needs to know. False hope is no hope, so check it out.”