A 12-year old girl is intent on the legalization of marijuana and is determined to ensure that legalization does indeed take place. Alexis Bortell says that her family had no choice but to move from Texas to Colorado to treat her severe epilepsy as Colorado has already legalized marijuana.
Bortell’s family and a handful of others are suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), demanding “cannabis for the treatment of their illnesses, diseases and medical conditions.”
“Ever since I’ve been on this cannabis, I’ve actually been seizure-free for – today it’s 974 days, so we’re coming up on 1,000. So I think that’s pretty good,” Alexis said in an interview with CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen.
Alexis’ parents say epilepsy medications didn’t work and that they even discussed brain surgery.
“What do you call epilepsy?” Petersen asked Alexis.
“Well, I call it my seizure monster,” Alexis responded.
To tame her “monster” Alexis uses an oil made from marijuana twice a day.
Her father, Dean Bortell, ultimately made the decision to move from Texas, where marijuana is not legally available, to Colorado where medical and recreational marijuana are both legal and readily available.
“I would die for her. Right? So the least I could do is uproot my life and give her a chance at the exact same freedoms and future I had,” Dean said.
Alexis and the others in the lawsuit are hoping that their efforts helps legalize marijuana around the United States, not just in specific states.
“Do you think it’s unfair that this medicine is not available to everybody in the United States?” Petersen asked Alexis.
“I think it’s really unfair, ’cause I feel like they’re basically punishing us because we’re sick,” Alexis said.
Although Alexis is reporting positive results, medical experts aren’t so sure.
“We really need more research to find out what’s helping, what’s hurting, what people should opt for this over some other options that they may have,” Jacqueline French, chief scientific officer for the Epilepsy Foundation, said.
Alexis has turned her efforts into a positive cause, making soap which proceeds go to charity and even writing a book. But Alexis just wants to be a normal kid living a normal childhood.
“Yes,” Alexis responded when asked if marijuana helps he lead a more normal life. “Because I can, let’s say, have a sleepover at a friend’s house without having a seizure.”
But why would the Government listen to a 12-year old?
“Well, I feel like it wouldn’t really matter, because it’s the right thing to do. And I don’t think I need to be over 18 to do the right thing,” Alexis said.