Six-year-old with rare epilepsy could be given illegal medical cannabis in trial, Home Office says

A six-year-old boy with a rare form of epilepsy that causes him to have 30 seizures a day could be given a legal prescription for illegal medical cannabis under a clinical trial, say ministers.

Alfie Dingley was turned down for a licence for the drug this month, with the Home Office rejecting the application on the grounds that the drug is illegal and cannot be supplied to the public.

However, policing minister Nick Hurd has since met Alfie’s family and said they would “explore every option” to help. He said a medical trial could be a possibility, if it were set up by Alfie’s medical team.

This would be the only way to get around existing legislation, which classes cannabis as a “schedule one” drug: substances the Government insists have little to no medical value and are most tightly controlled.