THE RIGHT TO MEDICATION & SUING THE GOVERNMENT
One of the most interesting stories making headlines recently is that of 12 year old Alexis Bortell, who has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions over medical marijuana legalization. She has been using medical marijuana to control her seizure disorder, epilepsy, but she has been unable to go home to her native Texas, where marijuana is not yet legal. As suing the government goes, the cards are not in her favor and for that she is aware. However, she is undaunted, supported by her family one hundred percent of the way. Alexis reported that western medicine wasn’t helping in any way to control her seizures, and doctors began suggesting she consider an invasive brain surgery. Then, a pediatrician suggested medical marijuana – however, only available outside of their home state of Texas. Good thing they packed up and headed for the ‘greener’ pastures of Lahkspur, Colorado, because it has worked. For the last two years, Alexis has taken a drop of liquid THC (a strain of cannabis oil called Haleigh’s Hope) in the morning and at night, which is helping her immensely, she has been seizure free now, for the last two years.
It will very difficult for government officials to argue against the medical benefit of marijuana. Effecting a change is likely not going to happen, but raising this level of awareness in a case such as this, is priceless. It will be incredibly interesting to see this story unfold.
Another case of awareness building momentum, happened on the heels of David Stern’s (former NBA commissioner) statement that the government should remove marijuana from the banned substances list for professional sports – Karl Anthony Towns from the Minnesota Timberwolves was one of the most recent athletes to advocate for the benefits of medicinal marijuana. Although he doesn’t require it or desire it necessarily for himself, Towns believes it could make a world of difference to those who may need it, he states in an interview from espn.com-
‘just because we’re NBA athletes, we’re not super humans. Some of us have conditions that could use [medicinal marijuana] to our benefit for everyday living, just taking care of our kids and our families.’
Karl Anthony Towns is interested in seeing the world get smarter and more educated about how they are treating their bodies, and as anything medical intrigues him, the research behind medical marijuana suggests that there are a lot of conditions that could benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
Ex- Denver Broncos player Marvin Washington is also suing Jess Sessions, he joins 5 other plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement agency. The suit claims that the 1970 Controlled Substance Act that classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, needs to be challenged as it violates the U.S. Constitution. Washington is the co-owner of a hemp based sports performance company and he is prevented from applying for federal grants for a product that can help treat pain for pro athletes as opposed to having to use opioids.
So, can a few federal lawsuits sway the government? The jury is still out. Following the outcome of these cases will lead to very interesting developments in the cannabis industry. Stay tuned.
Larissa Gomes is originally from Toronto, now turned Angeleno, she has worked in roles from writer, actor and producer for well over a decade. In that time, she’s developed concepts, film and television screenplays/pilots, along with contributed published short stories, articles, blogs, marketing content, copywriting and editing work. She is also a breast cancer survivor and single mom to her spirited toddler boy