NEW YORK — A 12-year-old Colorado girl is part of a lawsuit that is set to be heard starting Wednesday in Manhattan that challenges the Trump administration’s policy on marijuana.
Ultimately, the lawsuit seeks to legalize marijuana under federal law.
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.
“It’s the first time a young child who needs lifesaving medicine has stood up to the government to be able to use it,” Joseph A. Bondy, one of the lawyers who brought the suit, told the New York Times.
“As the seizures got worse, we had to move to Colorado to get cannabis because it’s illegal in Texas,” said Bortell, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young child.
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.