LARKSPUR, Colo. — Alexis Bortell is hardly the first child whose family moved to Colorado for access to medical marijuana.
But the 12-year-old is the first Colorado kid to sue U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions over the nation’s official marijuana policy.
“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” Bortell, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child, told KDVR.
The sixth-grader said traditional medicine wasn’t helping her seizures and doctors in her home state were recommending invasive brain surgery.
But a pediatrician did mention an out-of-state option – medical marijuana.
Shortly after moving to Larkspur, Bortell’s family began using a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope.
A drop of liquid THC in the morning and at night has kept her seizure-free for 2 1/2 years.
“I’d say it’s a lot better than brain surgery,” Bortell said.
But Bortell said the federal prohibition on marijuana prevents her from returning to Texas.
“I would like to be able to visit my grandparents without risking being taken to a foster home,” Bortell said on why she’s joined a lawsuit that seeks to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level.
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 dangerous than meth or cocaine and on par with heroin.
“How is that rational? It’s not compassionate either, but rationality? It’s just outrageous,” said Alexis’ dad Dean Bortell.
He showed his backyard fields, where he grows five acres of marijuana plants used to derive the medicine that helps his daughter and patients he’s never met.