Ex-cop discusses breaking the laws she used to enforce in order to smuggle medical cannabis to her epileptic son
In an emotional interview with BBC Disclosure, mother and former police officer Lisa Quarrell talks about how she smuggled cannabis oil from the Netherlands to Scotland in hopes of improving her son’s health and quality of life.
Quarrell has spent thousands of dollars and risked criminal charges in order to help her son, Cole, who has severe epilepsy. He has had brain surgery and suffers from debilitating seizures, sometimes up to 16 seizures in a day. Just six years old, he has tried many pharmaceutical medications to help control the seizures, but to no effect.
Quarrell quit the police service to care for her son when he was born and has been very open about how difficult her decision was to start smuggling cannabis oil to provide to her son.
“I’ve just walked through the airport and seen police officers I used to work with, knowing that I’m about to pick up my baggage that’s got an illegal drug in it, which is just so far beyond my imagination, I can’t tell you,” Quarrell shared in the episode.
The British Paediatric Neurology Association does not recommend cannabis oils in the treatment of epilepsy in children, citing that evidence is still insufficient and given the issues THC may have on the developing brain. Professor Finbar O’Callaghan, president of the BPNA Trustees, says in the episode that the National Health Service only covers treatments that have been deemed safe and effective.
Medical cannabis was illegal in the U.K. until a vote last November. However, the medical community appears to be reluctant to use cannabis as a therapeutic treatment, leaving many patients struggling to secure prescriptions.
In a happy ending to this story, after the episode aired, Quarrell was able to obtain a legal prescription from London Portland Hospital.
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