Alexis Bortell is 12 and lives in Colorado, USA. Like most children her age, February 14 is an important date for her, but not for the same reasons. She is marking Feb 14 on her calendar, but not for Valentine’s Day.
A former resident of Texas, the state did not allow the use of CBD oil for epilepsy years ago, so she and her parents moved to Colorado where they could obtain the life-saving medication she needed. Made from cannabis, the CBD oil Bortell takes to control her epilepsy for the last three years is the only medication which has controlled her seizures.
Bortell et al v. The United States DOJ
Bortell is the lead plaintiff of a lawsuit against the United States government for continuing to list marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic with “no known medical benefits.” Medical science confirms that the U.S. government is wrong, but Bortell, with epilepsy cannot safely have her day in court.
Because her medication is illegal in the United States, Bortell cannot legally and safely travel to New York State. She cannot because she cannot legally transport or obtain the medication needed to prevent her seizures.
If she flies, she cannot bring her medication on the plane. She cannot drive because she will cross state borders with her medication, a violation of numerous state laws and federal law. She cannot obtain her medication in New York State because it is illegal there. Hence, Bortell cannot attend her own day in court – a travesty of justice in any era.
The lawsuit alleges in part,
“This action is brought on behalf of two young children, an American military veteran,
a retired professional football player and a membership organization, all of whom have suffered harm, and who are continuously threatened with additional harm, by reason of the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). 21 U.S.C. §801, et. seq. The CSA has wrongfully and unconstitutionally criminalized the cultivation, distribution, sale, and possession of Cannabis (comprised of Cannabis Saliva, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruder a/is), which, historically, has been harvested to produce, among other things, medicine, industrial hemp, and a substance known as tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”).”
The arguments in the case include demonstrating that the U.S. Federal Government in clinging to marijuana prohibition is violating the rights of the people to sound medical treatments and personal choice. It will be first such case to apply the 9th Amendment.
There is ample evidence today that cannabis provides relief from numerous ailments, not just epilepsy. The United States government is failing to take note of scientific evidence and public opinion, both of which support expansion of cannabis as a medical treatment option in many cases. The editors at Criminal Justice Law International will be watching this case closely.