Why an 11-year-old girl is suing Jeff Sessions over cannabis access

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      It's no secret that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is keen to kick-start the war on drugs, and particularly, the war on cannabis.

      So we were very excited when we learned that an 11-year-old girl from Texas is standing up to President Trump's right hand: She's suing him, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration, for getting between patients and their access to medical cannabis.

      Alexis Bortell and her family moved to Denver, Colorado from Dallas, Texas three years ago to seek out medical cannabis for her crippling seizures. (In Colorado, both recreational and medical cannabis are legal. Both are still banned in the state of Texas.)

      While pharmaceuticals weren't effective for her disorder, Bortell and her family soon learned that cannabis oil, specifically a blend of THC and CBD, was the only thing that could prevent her seizures.

      "I just want kids like me to be able to do what normal kids are able to do," she told an ABC news team in Dallas.

      “I haven’t had a seizure in 866 days.” 

      In an attempt to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug and legalize it as medicine, she and several other plaintiffs are approaching the federal court in New York City.

      For Bortell, it's also about being able to travel within the United States. 

      "For me, my grandparents live in Texas, and I can go there, but I can't stay the night with them. I can't have my medicine in Texas," she said.

      Bortell's attorney, Michael Hiller, told the news team that, while many suits have targeted the Controlled Substances Act since it first took effect in 1971, this one is a bit different.

      "This is the first lawsuit of its kind in the sense that we are making arguments under the 5th Amendment due process clause, we are making arguments under the commerce clause, we are making arguments under the 10th Amendment," he said.

      While some doubt anything will come of Bortell's case, we're confident that her brave attempt will encourage the general public to start talking about the harms of cannabis prohibition, and how increased access to cannabis holds great promise for patients who cannot find relief with traditional pharmaceuticals.

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