Mark February 14 on Your Calendar and No, Not Valentine’s Day

black Image of scales on white background with the words, "calibrate the scales" overlaid. As with any set of scales, the scales of justice must, from time to time, be recalibrated. Total balance is never achieved, but all in the criminal justice and legal systems must strive for it as much as possible.

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.

In other words, February 14, 2018 may mark the end of a long-standing love affair the United States government has with marijuana prohibition. Read the complete court filing here.

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.


President, Publisher at Oakes Media Group
C J Oakes is an author and freelance writer from Lubbock, TX, USA. In addition to this website, he operates and

As an author, he has numerous books to his credit including the best-selling Survive and Thrive After the Collapse of the Dollar series. In addition, he has written over a hundred books for clients since 2011 and has created innumerable web pages for law firms and others worldwide.

Passionate about Justice, Mr. Oakes believes that the scales of justice are never balanced, but it is the duty of each citizen to do their part to re-calibrate the scales as needed. When the scales of justice shift too far to one side, they must be returned a near as possible to center.

He built this site with the goal of helping students of criminal justice understand how to apply the principles needed for re-calibrating the scales as well as providing easy access to needed study resources.

Criminal Justice Law International welcomes guest posts and anyone interested in contributing to the goals of the site.

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