The mother of a teenage girl who died from an ecstasy overdose has urged the Prime Minister to legalise drugs.
Two years ago on Monday, ‘bright and funny’ 15-year-old Martha Fernback, of Summertown, Oxford, died from an overdose of MDMA – commonly known as ecstasy.
Martha’s mother, Anne-Marie Cockburn, visited 10 Downing Street last Wednesday to lobby David Cameron for the legalisation and regulation of drugs.
Full-time campaigner Ms Cockburn, 44, said: “The Misuse of Drugs act was brought in 44 years ago to reduce the number of people being killed by drugs. It’s done the exact opposite.”
“We’re asking David Cameron to commission an independent review into the legalisation of drugs. It’s a business 100 per cent run by criminals. Give me a chemist or pharmacist over that any day.“
Ms Cockburn co-founded the campaign group Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control alongside the Transform Drug Policy Foundation following her daughter’s death.
On July 20, 2013, Martha swallowed half a gram of MDMA powder, not knowing it was 91 per cent pure. She died within two hours after it induced cardiac failure.
Martha’s mother added: “If there had been dosage guidelines, this would never have happened.”
The average purity of the drug on the street is 58 per cent.
Ms Cockburn said: “She was curious. That’s how human beings are.
“She was funny, she was bright, and she had a sharp mind. It’s a great loss to the world.
“Forty people die every week from drug overdoses.
“Forty families have to go through what I did.”
Ms Cockburn added: “It’s coming up to two years since Martha’s death. I’m setting up a dinner in a field with some of Martha’s friends and some of my friends.
“It’s been a very strange journey. She should be turning 18 and going to university.
“I’m watching her friends doing those things.”
Ms Cockburn is set to speak at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Washington, DC in November.
She will also attend the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in April next year in New York.