Martha Fernback was 15 years old when she died on 20th July 2013 after swallowing half a gram of MDMA powder (more widely known as ecstasy). Since then her mother Anne-Marie Cockburn has suggested that the criminalisation of drugs contributed to her death.
We are so admiring of Anne-Marie’s resilience in the face of this tragedy, and are privileged to have helped her to set up What Martha did next, a named fund with Oxfordshire Community Foundation that will help her to tackle the social issues surrounding drug abuse in young people.
At Martha’s inquest in Oxford this week, Anne-Marie made her strongest call so far for senior politicians to enter into dialogue regarding fundamental reform of UK drug policy.
Anne-Marie made the following statement:
“It has been 328 days since my precious girl was safely by my side. Martha wanted to get high, she didn’t want to die – no parent wants either, but one of those is preferable to the other.
I wish Martha was sitting her GCSEs alongside her friends at school right now.
I wish the drug education she received had enabled her to make a more fully informed decision, instead of leaving her so vulnerable and in danger.
I would like to meet with Theresa May, Norman Baker and Yvette Cooper to start a sensible dialogue for change, from prohibition to strict and responsible regulation of recreational drugs. This will help to safeguard our children and lead to a safer society for us all by putting doctors and pharmacists, not dealers, in control of drugs.”