A WOMAN caught trying to smuggle medical cannabis into the country at Southend Airport may have the drugs for her severely epileptic daughter returned.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has told the Commons there is an “opportunity for a second opinion” while more than 80,000 people have signed a petition calling for the drugs to be returned.


Seized - the oils were confiscated when the family landed in Southend

Campaigner Emma Appleby, from Aylesham, Kent, wept as the £4,600 three-month dose of THC oil was seized on Saturday, when she reached Southend Airport with daughter Teagan.

The drugs were seized at the airport, but not destroyed.

But speaking to the House on Monday, Mr Hancock said: “It is not possible to import controlled drugs.

“However we have made available the opportunity for a second opinion.”

A petition, launched shortly after the news broke on Saturday, had gained 82,000 signatures at the time of writing.

It states: “Emma’s been fighting for several months to get access to a prescription for medical cannabis. But she’s been refused at every turn, passed from pillar to post and made to jump through hurdle after hurdle.

“This is a devastating blow and puts Teagan’s life at risk. Please help Emma get the medicine back from Customs and urge Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health to sort out the crisis in NHS prescriptions of medical cannabis so that no other family has to go through this.”

Mum, Emma, flew back to Britain from Holland on Saturday morning with her partner Lee, carrying a supply of medical cannabis oils for nine-year-old Teagan.

But the three-month supply of medicines, which cost £4,600, was seized after the family landed at Southend Airport.

Teagan suffers from a rare chromosomal disorder called Isodicentric 15 as well as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which causes up to 300 seizures a day.

The family flew out on Thursday, got the medicine prescribed by a paediatric neurologist at the Erasmus Hospital in Rotterdam, collected it from a pharmacy and paid using their own and fundraised money.