Colorado native Alexis Bortell has filed a lawsuit claiming that the federal prohibition on cannabis is unconstitutional.
Alexis’ story starts out in an all too familiar way. She and her family had been living in Texas when she had her first seizure in 2013. After an overnight stay in the hospital, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. She was averaging anywhere from 5-10 seizures a day. When her parents expressed concern to her neurologist that the medication she was on (Carbatrol 200mg) wasn’t working, his solution was to increase her dosage. This increased her seizures to 10-20 per day. The Bortells switched her to Depakote, which decreased her seizures, but gave her horrible mood swings. They decided to move to Colorado to treat Alexis with cannabis oil. This young girl had to completely uproot her life in order to get the medication she needs.
Bortell uses a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope to help with her seizures, and hopes that the lawsuit will help normalize and further legalize marijuana, she told Fox 31 Denver.
Bortell was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was a young child and traditional medicine was not helping. She and her family moved to Colorado from Texas so they could legally obtain cannabis oils to help treat the sixth-grader.
“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” said Bortell.
Some doctors even suggested that Bortell should consider having brain surgery instead of using the drug, but a drop of liquid THC twice a day has kept her seizure-free for two-and-a-half years.
“I’d say it’s a lot better than brain surgery,” Bortell said.
Marijuana is now classified as a Schedule One drug, which puts it under the same classification as dangerous drugs and substances such as heroin, cocaine, meth and fentanyl. Bortell and others have said that medical cannabis has many medical benefits and that the current federal guidelines ignore people that have been helped by the drug.
“As it pertains to cannabis, the (Controlled Substances Act) is irrational and thus unconstitutional,” said Bortell’s attorney, Michael Hiller, told Fox 31 Denver.
The lawsuit, which was filed in New York, is a longshot, but it represents a larger progressive push for marijuana for medical use.
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