This time of year, many sixth graders are thinking about holiday break, what they want for Christmas, and how many days are left of school before summer break. But not Alexis Bortell. Her thoughts are way more litigious in nature. The 12-year-old has epilepsy. She and her family specifically moved from Texas to Colorado to access medical marijuana.
“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” she told Denver’s FOX affiliate, KDVR TV.
Bortell says after moving to Larkspur, she began using a cannabis oil to help her seizures. With just two drops of THC every day, she says she’s been seizure-free for more than two years; it’s a way better option, she says, than the brain surgery her hometown doctor had recommended. By the way, the marijuana is grown by Bortell’s dad, Dean, in their backyard.
The issue the Bortells face now is that they can’t return to Texas because of federal prohibition — a regulation that has prompted Alexis to join a lawsuit that seeks to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level. As it stands now, the DEA considers marijuana equal to heroin and more dangerous than meth or cocaine.
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“When you look at it from a distance and you see it saving their lives, me as a father and an American, I go, what are we doing?,” Dean Bortell tells KDVR. “How could you possibly look at someone who`s benefiting from this as a medicine and threaten to take it away?”
Attorney Adam Foster, who represents the marijuana business side of things, says the lawsuit will be a long shot: “Whenever you sue the government, the deck is really stacked against you.”
That may be true, but the federal government has lost its first motion to have the case dismissed, so that’s something.
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