A 12-year-old girl, who uses medical marijuana to manage her epilepsy and resultant seizures, is suing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to legalize the drug nationwide. Sessions, a long time cannabis prohibitionist, said "Our policy is the same really, fundamentally, as the Holder-Lynch policy, which is that the federal law remains in effect, and a state can legalize marijuana for its law enforcement purposes but it still remains illegal with regard to federal purposes".
That leaves Bortell, and patients like her, in limbo.
"She just wants to be like everybody else", Alexis' father, Dean Bortell, told NBC News. "Nothing she tried worked", the suit states.
"This is a civil rights case that focuses on the rights of individuals using life-saving medication to preserve their lives and health", said Bortell's attorney, Michael Hiller.
Alexis Bortell, along with her father and other plaintiffs, including former National Football League player Marvin Washington, filed suit in the Southern District of NY against the attorney general as well as the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Cannabis Cultural Association is also named as a plaintiff, according to court documents.
"As it pertains to Cannabis, the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) is irrational and thus unconstitutional", insisted Heller, who added the U.S. Government "made a representation that Cannabis has medical application for the treatments of Parkinson's Disease, HIV Induced Dementia and Alzheimer's disease and yet at the same time the United States Government maintains that there is absolutely no medical benefit for the use of Cannabis". ABC News says they contacted the Justice Department for comment on the lawsuit but did not get a response.
Bortell moved from Texas to Colorado so she could get "a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope", which helps with her seizures. And, "Since being on whole-plant medical Cannabis, Alexis has gone more than two years seizure-free". THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient in marijuana that makes people feel "high".
Bortell has been suffering with seizures since she was 7-years-old.
Alexis isn't the only one suing the government over access to medical marijuana.
Bortell's lawsuit claims that she needs medical marijuana to help with her epilepsy. Will you abide by congressional appropriations limitations on marijuana when it conflicts with state laws? She returned to her home town of Denver in 2012 after living in eleven other cities in four countries, and.
Since the 1970s the Drug Enforcement Agency has classified marijuana as a Schedule One drug, which in the eyes of federal policy makes marijuana more unsafe than meth or cocaine and on par with heroin.
"I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home", Alexis said. If she returned to Texas with her Cannatol Rx, Alexis' parents could potentially lose custody of her.