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Sessions May Have Met His Match With Marijuana Lawsuit By 12-Year Old

by Countable | 11.16.17

What’s the story?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization, for both medical and recreational purposes. But he may have met his match in Alexis Bortell, a Colorado 12-year old who is suing the Attorney General in order to overturn the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana.

Why does it matter?

Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, though not in Alexis Bortell’s home state of Texas. Bortell has "intractable epilepsy", a condition that produces life threatening seizures and does not respond to conventional medications.

Her doctors in Texas recommended invasive brain surgery, or moving to a state that had legal medical marijuana. Bortell and her family moved to Larkspur, CO where she is able to legally obtain and take two small doses of marijuana oil twice a day.

She has been seizure free for two and a half years, but can’t travel to any state where medical marijuana is not legal like Texas. She can’t visit family there, particularly her elderly grandparents.

So, she, along with another child, a military veteran, a marijuana advocacy group and former Broncos player Marvin Washington, are suing the Attorney General Sessions to overturn federal law against medical marijuana so she can move freely around the country.

The suit alleges that the federal prohibitions on medical marijuana are "irrational and unconstitutional". The lawyer representing the plaintiff stated to Fox 21 Denver, “[the government] made a representation that cannabis has medical application for the treatments of Parkinson`s Disease, HIV-induced dementia and Alzheimer's disease and yet at the same time the United States government maintains that there is absolutely no medical benefit for the use of cannabis. That is of course absurd."

Currently, marijuana is classified under federal law as a Schedule One substance, with no possible medical benefits.

The federal government has already lost one motion to dismiss the case.

What do you think?

Do you think medical marijuana should be legalized by the federal government? What about recreational marijuana? What are the laws in your state? Do you think they’re working?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

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(76)
  • OlderNWiser
    11/16/2017
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    When my husband began dying of cancer and I learned cannabis had been helpful for horses in pain for years, eliminating placebo effect, I began to research cannabis. Prohibition was a purely political decision rooted in racism in the 1930s. The demonization is funny but the harm of using it to imprison people and preventing it’s benign pain relief and recreational use is evil. Alcohol causes deaths, is destructive in many ways, and remains legal while cannabis, a much safer, more useful drug that decreases deaths wherever legalized remains a Schedule I drug—a ridiculous unscientific anti-factual political act. Legalization of all drugs would decrease harm. The private prison industry and sheriffs want to profit from continued hypocrisy and lies. You can bet anything this administration backs is wrong as they are.

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  • Timothy
    11/16/2017
    ···

    Medical marijuana is a treatment proven to be beneficial; there is no reason to restrict it in any way. Likewise recreational marijuana is not a proven pathway to drugs abuse and has less bad effects than alcohol and tobacco. Let’s legalize it, collects taxes from the users and lower state and federal deficits. Win-win!

    Like (33)
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  • FreeAmerica
    11/16/2017
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    Cannabis should ABSOLUTELY be legalized at the federal level for medical purposes. It has a vast amount of benefits in a wide range of medical issues with much fewer to absolutely no harmful side effects unlike its pharmaceutical counterparts. I’ll leave recreational up to states although I’m ok with that being legalized as well (I am a non user). My daughter has epilepsy and will benefit greatly from medical cannabis and fortunately it’s legal in her state, mine and the state between us, but it should be federally legal.

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  • Mark
    11/16/2017
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    It should be decriminalized in all forms, tax it’s sales and generate the revenue, it can be a great replacment crop for Farmers and good for many things.

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  • Erin
    11/16/2017
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    We need to stop this ridiculous fight against a plant that can help others not just health but mental help as well. I would rather people go home smoke some weed and eat a pizza then get drunk and drive or drink and make very poor decisions. We are wasting tax payers money on fighting this drug that should never have been labeled illegal!!

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  • Trey
    11/16/2017
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    This should be common sense. Support this child.

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  • Leona-Aurelia
    11/16/2017
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    Cannabis, and many other things, should’ve been legalized and taxed like alcohol and tobacco a long time ago.

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  • CannabisSavedMe
    11/16/2017
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    Jeff Sessions, John Katko of New York’s 24 th district and any other representative and elected officials who refuse to legalize cannabis, Shame On You for denying the American People of this medicine! You all can prove that you care about the people of our nation by legalizing cannabis for ALL Americans! The science is there the proof is there stop denying us this holistic medicine! Stop allowing big Pharma to poison our country and stop this illegitimate war on poor people! Cannabis can help treat this incredible opiate epidemic we’re facing in this country but all you corrupt officials are lining your pockets with the money from this pharmaceutical dope you’re peddling! Stop this reefer madness, stop being science deniers and please consider doing the right thing for a change. I find your ignorance and inaction to be treasonous. Legalize Cannabis for all Americans!

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  • Kelly
    11/16/2017
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    Just legalize it and regulate it like alcohol and tobacco. It is less dangerous than alcohol, has medicinal purposes that could help with the Opioid epidemic. It is time for the federal government to recognize the many uses of Cannabis as a product from ecological friendly textiles, rope, medicine etc. the VA wants to use it for PTSD for goodness sake.

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  • Robert
    11/16/2017
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    Jeff sessions and the Justice Department are so far out of touch with this issue it’s ridiculous. You to follow the money side of the issue, the privatize prisons system will lose money, the pharmaceutical companies will lose money and law-enforcement will lose money for combating marijuana use. It’s unfortunate that in today’s political climate most of the time do you have to follow the money to get the correct answers.

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  • Mary
    11/16/2017
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    It is criminal not to legalize marijuana. It's medicinal uses are astounding and varied. Prohibition did not work and marijuana prohibition is not working either. Also the taxes placed on marijuana could be put to use providing health care for the citizens of this country. Canada taxes alcohol and tobacco stiffly and that money is used for health care and education. We are so behind the times. Vote to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana nationwide.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    11/16/2017
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    We are all well aware that the prohibition on any form of Marijuana and its cousin, Industrial Hemp, is a political, cultural, unethical and immoral, uneducated attack on personal liberties, based on and skewed by ignorance, and oppressive religious views. Those whom subscribe to the prohibition of medical marijuana, should be held responsible for the inhumane treatment of clinically ill Citizens of the United States.

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  • Janice
    11/17/2017
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    Why didn't someone do this during Obama administration when it would have had a chance to accomplish something. Sessions is not the only AG to follow the laws. I am for legalization of medicinal marijuana and if nothing else decriminalization of recreational.

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  • KansasTamale
    11/16/2017
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    If this doesn’t bring this ancient administration & federal legislators into the 21st century then there is no hope!! This 12 year old has been seizure free for two and a half yerras, but can’t travel to any state where medical marijuana is not legal like Texas. She can’t visit family there, particularly her elderly grandparents.

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  • A.B.
    11/16/2017
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    Yet opioids are prescribed all day long.

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  • David
    11/16/2017
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    Love this! Brave kid. Sessions lives in a time warp. He needs to be MADE to understand that pot has uses beyond his own personal favorite: filling jails with poor black people.

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  • Susan
    11/16/2017
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    Medical marijuana has proven itself time and time again to be a lifesaver. Remove the Federal restrictions. You claim the purpose of government is to save lives. Prove it by removing these restrictions.

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  • RadicalModerate
    11/16/2017
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    Subjugation of cannabis enthusiasts is an archaic political tool, that is less effective every day. It’s time John Katko, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, to admit that the persecution of keepers of the seed will not further your career, but serve to end it with the completion of this most destructive term.

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  • Christy
    11/16/2017
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    It should be legalized.

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  • Ticktock
    11/16/2017
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    The prohibition of cannabis use has a very checkered past based in politics rather than medical facts. If the prohibition against cannabis were based on medical facts why are not tobacco, alcohol, sugar, tea or coffee illegal? The medical use of cannabis should be legal under a doctors care. It’s benefits are well documented and are factual. Facts seem to be something this Administration has a very loose relationship with.

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