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Eleven-Year-Old Takes on Federal Government to Legalize Medical Cannabis

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It’s never too early to become involved in medical cannabis politics—not for 11-year-old Alexis Bortell anyway. Nothing helped alleviate Bortell’s epileptic seizures until she began consuming medical cannabis. That’s why she’s suing the federal government to legalize medical cannabis in all 50 states.

Cannabis’ miraculous healing effects have changed the young girls life forever. “I’m doing what I consider pretty well — 866 days seizure free,” young Bortel told CBS News. “Kids like me and their families, we can’t travel to places like Yellowstone or The Capitol.” Bortell’s family, like many other families, fled from Texas to Colorado in order to have access to life-saving medical cannabis oil. Today Bortell is seizure-free.

Now Bortell is one of five plaintiffs that have signed the July 24 lawsuit. The complaint was also signed by former NFL lineman Marvin Washington and military veteran Jose Belen. The complaint names Attorney Jeff Session as the defendant, as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, who called medical cannabis a “joke.”

Bortell and his family are unable to carry cannabis oil during travel to other states, because of cannabis’ status under Schedule I.

Attorney Michael Hiller said the government’s own cannabis policies contradict themselves. How is it possible, Hiller asked, that the government holds a medical patent (#Patent6630507), and says that that cannabis has no medical use in the same breath? Many other cannabis advocates have asked the same question. In addition, GW Pharmaceutical holds a patent for treating brain cancer with THC and CBD.

Epileptic patients with intractable epilepsy in Texas, like Bortell, will have access to low-THC medical cannabis within a year. But federal legalization is another story. Nearly all federal cannabis legalization bills have been called a “longshot” by the media, but Bortell is optimistic that changes are possible on a federal level.

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