Alfie Dingley: Home Office considers medical cannabis trial – BBC News

The Home Office says it is considering allowing a medical cannabis trial to treat a six-year-old boy with a rare form of epilepsy.

It previously turned down requests by the family of Alfie Dingley, from Warwickshire, to legally take the drug.

But now ministers say they are “exploring every option”, following a meeting with the family.

An option could be a three-month trial, led by Alfie’s doctors and based on “sufficient and rigorous evidence”.

However the Home Office has stressed that “no decisions have been made”.

Alfie, from Kenilworth, suffers up to 30 violent seizures a day.

His mother, Hannah Deacon, took him to the Netherlands to take a cannabis-based medication in September and said, while there, his seizures reduced in number, duration and severity.

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Home Office Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP met with the family on Monday.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Government has a huge amount of sympathy for the rare and difficult situation that Alfie and his family are faced with.

“The Policing Minister wants to explore every option and has met with Alfie’s family to discuss treatments that may be accessible for him.

“No decisions have been made and any proposal would need to be led by senior clinicians using sufficient and rigorous evidence.”

Ms Deacon described the plan as a “sincere offer because they want to help us”.

Members of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on drug policy reform are calling on the government to assist with Alfie’s plight.

Group co-chair, Conservative MP Crispin Blunt said: “It would be heartless and cruel not to allow Alfie to access the medication.”

Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 drug and, in its raw form, is not recognised in the UK as having any medicinal benefit.

The Home Office said it cannot be practically prescribed, administered

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