Dean Bortell kisses his 11-year-old daughter, Alexis, as she waits to testify during a House committee hearing on March 6, 2017, in Denver. David Zalubowski / AP file
“She just wants to be like everybody else,” Alexis’ father, Dean Bortell, told NBC News. “When she grows up she wants to be free to choose where she lives and what she does for a living. She wants to be treated like an American citizen and not just a state citizen. She doesn’t want to have to fear going to jail every time she sees a police officer.”
The suit aims to prove that the Controlled Substances Act, the statute governing federal drug policy, is unconstitutional as it relates to marijuana, according to Alexis’ attorney, Michael S. Hiller.
Joining in on the suit with Alexis are plaintiffs Marvin Washington, a former NFL lineman; Jose Belen, an Army veteran; and Jagger Cotte, a 6-year-old Georgia boy with
Leigh syndrome, all of whom use medicinal cannabis. The Cannabis Cultural Association is also named as a plaintiff, according to court documents.
“Our objective is to have the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to cannabis declared unconstitutional so that Alexis, Jagger, Jose and the millions of other Americans who require medical cannabis can live healthy and productive lives,” Hiller said.
The Justice Department, which has filed a memorandum in support of a motion to dismiss the case, declined to comment to NBC News. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Moving to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal, is what first allowed Alexis to start experiencing the near-normal childhood she’s living today.
Alexis, who has had seizures since she was 7, takes two doses of cannabis oil a