As her seizures became worse, her pediatrician told her about an out-of-state treatment that might aid her and make serious brain surgery unnecessary: medical marijuana. That's why she's aiming to prove the U.S. Controlled Substances Act unconstitutional as it relates to marijuana with her lawsuit against Sessions.
Another child, a marijuana advocacy group, a military vet and former Denver Broncos player Marvin Washington have joined the lawsuit. She suffered daily seizures.
Once she resided in a state where access to medical marijuana is legal, Bortell was able to make use of a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope.
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The suit contends that Alexis won't be able to return to her native Texas where she hopes to attend college because she would be subject to arrest if she continued to use marijuana to control her seizures. "Nothing she tried worked", the suit states.
"She just wants to be like everybody else", Alexis's father, Dean Bortell, told NBC News.
Until the state and federal cannabis incompatibility is resolved, anyone who uses medical marijuana will find their lives limited to places where they can be treated, not prosecuted. When she grows up she wants to be free to choose where she lives and what she does for a living. Bortell said that the cannabis was "better than brain surgery". It has been 2 years without having a seizure, compared to the time before the Cannabis treatment, when she would have more seizures in a single day.
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Marijuana now sits in the most restrictive category according to the Controlled Substance Act - Schedule I. This places marijuana in the same boat as heroin, which significantly limits the amount of medical cannabis research that can be conducted.
The lawsuit was filed in July 2017 in the Southern District of NY where the legal text for the case said that it "stands to benefit tens of millions of Americans who require, but are unable to safely obtain, Cannabis for the treatment of their illnesses, diseases and medical conditions, the successful treatment of which is dependent upon its curative properties."Bortell's lawsuit is not only against Sessions and the Justice Department, but also against the Drug Enforcement Agency".
On the other side of the Atlantic, Europe is getting more and more countries on board with medical cannabis, as Poland just legalized medical cannabis on a national level.
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The Justice Department has reportedly filed a memorandum of support for a motion to dismiss the case.