British Mother of 9-Years Old Girl With Epilepsy Sees £4,500 Medical Cannabis Confiscated by UK Authorities

last year

The UK’s position on legal medical cannabis continues to baffle the rest of the world. But, since 2016 nothing is that baffling anymore anyway.

Yet, the story of Emma Appleby, mother of 9-years epilepsy patient Taegan is one which takes some beating.

Emma Appleby with daughter Taegan and partner Lee Morton - Photo via

The UK regularly is the topic of scorn here on when it comes to its legal position — and especially the application of it — on legal medical cannabis. As many know, the UK last year approved medical use of cannabis for a very limited set of conditions.

Until recently, only very little legal medical cannabis was available in the UK. In fact, the world’s largest medical cannabis producer had its first batch of legal medical cannabis imported only few weeks ago.

Until then, it was mostly black market or expensive treatments which would more often than not lead back to the black market.

For Emma Appleby, whose daughter suffers the rare genetic condition Isodicentric 15 as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and can have up to 300 seizures a day due to the epilepsy which is part of her condition, this meant that barely any treatment was available, unless she went abroad.

“Teagan can have up to as many as 300 seizures a day. These present in all different severity and types of seizures. We have tried multiple epilepsy medications over the years and even had a VNS fitted two years ago with unfortunately no success.”

Which effectively meant crowdfunding Taegan’s treatment, via a Just Giving page.

Initially, after medical cannabis was approved last November in the UK, Taegan was first treated with the legal Epidiolex, which helped for a limited period of time and limited, stopped even, most seizures during day. Yet, not when she was asleep.

After the positive effects plateaued, the mother — a long term campaigner for medical cannabis — decided she would defy laws and procure herself legal THC-containing cannabis oil abroad in order to hopefully improve Taegan’s condition. Thus she went to the Netherlands with her daughter and partner.

As her initiative was reported in the local media in Kent, and later even by HuffPo authorities became aware of Emma’s plans and halted her earlier today at the airport, upon re-entry in the UK

They found and confiscated from the mother illicit cannabis oil, in worth of £4,500 — almost US$ 5,900 at the time of writing.

The confiscated amount of oil would have provided three months of treatment for the 9-years old epilepsy patient.

Welcome to the UK, where right now... rien ne va plus. Definitely not common sense.

Tags: #health #cannabidiols #uk #medical-use

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This hurts my heart. :/

Especially considering I live in America... where I know all too well what government ignorance and lack of common sense is... :(

I can only hope that they can find a way to fix this. That would set an example for the world, maybe others would follow suit. Who knows.

I think the problem is that governments don't seem to understand they get more support, more power, more backing... by caring about their people, instead of looking at them like little cash farms... it's sad. :(


The UK actually does care about its citizens, definitely the NHS. Or at least did for most for its modern history.

But the legal medical marijuana situation is a real joke. Despite being the biggest producer (GW Pharmaceuticals cultivates the marijuana for Epidiolex in the UK), they didn’t prepare a plan on procuring when MMJ was legalized. Now, they need to actually import it — and so far only one Dutch manufacturer of flowers is licensed, selling at above black market rates.

Lastly, the biggest issue of all, doctors (the NHS) are still debating the good and whether there is already science backing it or not. As if chemicals, AKA pills, were never first tested on humans before mainstreamed.

It’s a joke, but it’s not just in the UK. The situation in Belgium is at least as stupid.


All I can say is, poor child... She's already dealing with way more than she ever deserved to and her country is showing that they care this little about her that something proven to help her, is being stolen from her. :(

this makes me sick and it should be a crime against humanity, what do these people have in their heads to confiscate it?

The state of medical cannabis in the UK is an absolute disgrace. Corruption is holding them back, it's crazy that despite being the world's largest exporter of cannabis that their citizens have little to no access to it. Shame on those blocking access to legit medical patients!


Many terms come to mind. “Absolute disgrace” is definitely one of the nicer ones.

And depending on the outcome of Brexit the UK may not have a directive allowing scientific research either.


If there is a no deal brexit then legalizing weed would probably stop most civil unrest 😂

The UK continues to baffle me. Why would they do this to a mother who is trying to help her child.

On the other side of the coin if hey plan was released by the media it's no wonder they came for her. 😢


Tbh I don’t know if they went to the airport specifically to wait for her or if it happened during regular entry. As I wrote this post the news had only just broken and most outlets hadn’t yet covered it.

There’s questions like “what CBD if she used Epidiolex previously”, “charges?”, aso... but no information was available then. I could only puzzle the parts together Available then and also historically. Wanting to get a story out as soon as it hit the news vines, I didn’t manage to piece the whole history together but she’s been a campaigner for multiple years. The Guardian mentioned she had been in touch with Minister of Health, but a quick Google showed that may also have been 3 years ago. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think anyone in her situation would do the same thing if it was their child?


I would even risk an arrest by punching the confiscating agents in the face.

Poor little girl the government needs to do something


They make too much money by keeping it illegal :(

Wow.... this breaks my. Freaking heart man. Not right