This 12-Year-Old is Suing the Government Over Its Marijuana Laws
She isn’t old enough to drink, vote or even drive, but 12-year-old Alexis Bortell is already taking on the federal government in an effort to reform federal drug laws. Bortell is one of five plaintiffs who recently filed suit against the government in New York, arguing that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- which classifies cannabis as an Schedule I drug -- constitutes a violation of her civil rights.
Bortell suffers from epilepsy and uses cannabis to control her seizures. Her family moved from Texas to Colorado for easy access to the drug and, since then, Bortell has shown remarkable success using a cannabis oil called Haleigh's Hope. But the sixth-grader says her condition is such that she can’t travel without her cannabis. That has prevented her from returning to Texas even to visit her aging grandparents.
"As it pertains to cannabis, the (Controlled Substances Act) is irrational and thus unconstitutional," said Bortell’s attorney Michael Hiller.
The odds of winning the suit are slim. But, if nothing else, Bortell and her family hope it will cause skeptics to rethink the type of people reaping benefits from medical marijuana. She is joined in the suit by a military veteran, another child, an advocacy group, and professional football player Marvin Washington.