Alexis Bortell may only be 11 years old, but she’s already involved in the ongoing struggle to legalize marijuana nationally – and in one of its most auspicious arenas, the fight to get cannabis out of its Schedule I status. In order to do this, she’s suing Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Bortell has major reasons for the lawsuit she’s joined, reasons that are difficult to argue against. Mainly, she has suffered from a recurring seizure disorder since she was a very little girl. After trying medication after medication and doctor after doctor, her parents finally moved them from Texas to Colorado to try medical marijuana almost three years ago.
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Cannabis was the first thing to work and now Bortell has gone nearly two and a half years without a single seizure.
Another formidable activist has been born in Bortell and now she’s doing everything she can to help other people in her situation. Not to simply be able to utilize cannabis at home, but to also be able to live a full life and still medicate. As an example, the whole family can visit Bortell’s grandparents in Texas, but only for a day trip, not overnight, as Alexis Bortell needs her medication. She misses her grandparents greatly.
Bartell told ABC News, “I just want kids like me to be able to do what normal kids are able to do.”
While this isn’t the first lawsuit to challenge cannabis’ Schedule I status, meaning that it is a drug that causes harm and has no medicinal value, the suit is being uniquely argued. They are going after the 5th Amendment’s due process clause, they’re arguing under the commerce clause and are also utilizing the 10th amendment, which states that government power only has reach as far as the U.S. Constitution, with all remaining power reserved for the people.
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Bortell is ahead of her time; she is a girl who got well after a harrowing battle and she is a warrior. We can all take example from her courage and fierceness in the faces of illness and government opposition.