Instead of focusing on much more important issues like the opioid crisis and the steady dismantling of American civil rights, Jeff Sessions has turned his attention to battling against legalized marijuana. That pretend war will now see him in court as he goes up against a 12-year-old girl who suffers from epilepsy.
Alexis Bortell was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013. She began taking medical marijuana three years ago, and her seizures disappeared. Newsweek reports that Bortell filed a lawsuit against Sessions last fall because he has made it his mission to impede access to the one drug that has been able to help her.
The case goes before a judge in a New York City federal court on Feb. 14. Attorney Michael Hiller will be there to represent Alexis, and he told Newsweek that he the ruling will go their way.
“We are very optimistic that the case is going to come out the way it should, which is that the Controlled Substances Act is going to be found unconstitutional,” Hiller told the magazine.
Their case involves several other plaintiffs including a former professional football player, a veteran and another child.
The seizures Alexis suffered were so bad, her family moved from Texas to Colorado so she could have access to products made with marijuana.
There is science that supports the relief Alexis is experiencing with cannabis products. There have been clinical trials that have shown CBD to be effective in treating seizure disorders.
Dr. Jerzy Szaflarski, the director of the epilepsy center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Newsweek that CBD could be working along about a dozen different pathways and receptors.
“The evidence for each and every one of those pathways is there but it’s relatively weak,” Szaflarski said. “It’s going to take a while before we sort this out.”
The U.S. government, however, believes there are no medical applications for marijuana. It is listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Alexis’ lawsuit challenges that act. Hiller told Newsweek he believes the case could make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Alexis’ father, Dean Bortell, just wants his daughter to have access to something that can improve her quality of life.
“No one else is living memo to memo or administration to administration,” Bortell said. “I don’t think asking for my daughter to have that long-term plan for her life—I don’t think that’s asking too much.”