by Countable | 11.16.17
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.
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.
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)
Written by Countable
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
This should be common sense. Support this child.
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!
Cannabis, and many other things, should’ve been legalized and taxed like alcohol and tobacco a long time ago.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yet opioids are prescribed all day long.
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.
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.
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.
It should be legalized.
When I was suffering the ill-effects of chemotherapy for lung cancer a few years back, I was glad to be living in Colorado where our citizens and state government have taken a very sound approach to this drug. I have friends that have been using marijuana for years and are not heroin addicts but successful contributors to society. I also have friends and family who have had their lives ruined through the legal promotion, sale and use of alcohol. The difference between these two commodities is the strength of the lobbyists behind the product. The big liquor companies have done their best to keep their dangerous product legal. Big Pharma lobbyists have done their best to further the opioid crisis by pushing their products and keeping pot illegal at the federal level. Think about the number of jobs the marijuana industry could create nationwide (as compared to coal mining). Think of the amount of revenue that could be realized by the sale and taxation of pot. Think of the helpless individuals looking for relief from chronic pain or cancer treatments or rare neurological disorders that could be helped by the legalization of this substance. Based on the large number of class-action suits advertised hourly here in Colorado, I think the government does a disservice to its citizens by pushing harmful drugs that make their donors money and continuing to ignore the benefits of a growing industry that may just help reduce the incidence of opioid addiction.
The only reason why Marijuana was ever made illegal was because big pharmaceuticals and paper companies didn’t want to lose money on products that they know can be made cheaper and more beneficial using plant grown cannabis. It has been show time and time again that it has many medicinal benefits, and the fact that it is illegal proves corruption and that lobbying has taken over the government. I don’t believe it should be recreationally legal, yet, however, it should be removed from the list of scheduled drugs and be made nationally medicinally legal. Until then, we will never truly be able to study all of the effects and aspects of cannabis, nor will we be able to harness its true maximum benefits.
Please overturn the prohibition on medical marijuana. It is an outdated and pointless law. It has been shown repeatedly that medical marijuana is not only very helpful but can be life saving in certain medical cases. We need to bring these laws up to date, so that the people who need medical marijuana can freely participate and be fully functioning members of our society.