Family Of Texas Girl Living In Colorado Files Lawsuit Against Federal Marijuana Policy

Feb 14, 2018

The White House is back in the legal spotlight this week. The family of a 12-year-old Texas girl being treated with medical marijuana in Colorado is among a group of plaintiffs suing the Trump administration in an effort to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level.


Alexis Bortell, 12, and her parents moved to Colorado in 2014 so the family could use marijuana to treat her intractable epilepsy. Federal law makes it illegal to board a plane with marijuana or transport it across state lines.

Dean Bortell, Alexis' father, argued that federal law violates his daughter’s constitutional right to travel with a prescribed medication.

“When we look at our children, the dreams of a parent are that our children could go on to do more than we could ever do. And there’s no limit to what you can do in America. But for my daughter, Alexis, it’s a lie,” Bortell said.

The case was heard Wednesday before a New York U.S. district judge. It became nationally significant when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraged prosecutors to aggressively enforce the federal marijuana law in states that had legalized the drug.  

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1