Alexis Bortell, 12, was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013 and has successfully treated her condition with marijuana usage since. Now, Bortell will head to court to fight Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ crackdown on medical marijuana.
According to Newsweek, Bortell’s representation will argue her case in a New York City federal courthouse on February 14th.
“We are very optimistic that the case is going to come out the way it should, which is that the Controlled Substances Act is going to be found unconstitutional,” said Bortell’s lawyer, Michaell Hiller. Arguments will also be made on behalf of several other plaintiffs, including a former professional football player, a veteran and another child.
Bortell had already moved from Texas to Colorado in order to obtain the medical marijauna needed to treat her condition. Due to restrictive laws about travelling with the medicine, Bortell has been unable to leave Colorado. Alexis had tried several different kinds of treatment for her epilepsy before discovering that the medical marijuana she now uses was by far the best option. She has not had a seizure in three years.
Despite this, the government has continued to maintain that marijuana has no medical uses whatsoever.
Hiller will attempt to argue that the Controlled Substances Act, under which mairjuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug, is unconstitutional. He claims that the act violates the fundamental right to travel, as well as the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and the First, Fifth, Ninth and 14th amendments. He believes the case may wind up in the Supreme Court.
Sessions’ policy on marijuana has been strict: he has reversed the Cole memorandum, which encouraged leniency for marijuana users. Other policies that prevented states from creating more marijuana restrictions are also set to expire in the near future.
Sessions’ crackdown on marijuana has drawn considerable criticism from both the left and the right, especially considering the administration’s inaction on the Opioid Epidemic, whichwas declared a public health epidemic by President Trump in 2017.
“No one else is living memo to memo or administration to administration,” said Dean Bortell, the father of Alexis. “I don’t think asking for my daughter to have that long-term plan for her life—I don’t think that’s asking too much.”