Ah, Jeff Sessions. The Attorney General pain in Mary Jane’s ass. As anyone who follows politics knows, Sessions is about as anti-marijuana as they come. He’s gone on record to say that good people don’t smoke weed. He’s worked tirelessly to prosecute benign pot crimes (at the expense of catching actual criminals). And he’s blamed the recent opioid crisis on marijuana (when studies show that marijuana actually reduces the risk of opioid dependency and subsequent overdoses).
Sessions, when it comes to cannabis, is The Attorney General of propaganda, unwilling to address the will of the people he represents and, instead, hellbent on perpetuating his own beliefs. And now he’s being sued for it.
Jeff Sessions Formidable Opponent
Alexis Bortell represents Colorado well; she lives on a 35-acre farm and is described as a typical 12-year-old. But, of course, she’s not.
Three years ago, Alexis moved to Colorado from Texas. She had to in order to gain access to the cannabis medication that would treat her severe epilepsy (known as intractable epilepsy). She’s not the only one, either: the news is filled with stories of parents who uprooted their lives to move to states that gave their children the best shot at health. And, naturally, for every story that makes the news, there are dozens that don’t.
Alexis’s story is making headlines because of her awesome audacity: she’s suing Sessions, something everyone should do.
Her father discussed the lawsuit with NBC News stating,
“She just wants to be like everybody else. When she grows up she wants to be free to choose where she lives and what she does for a living. She wants to be treated like an American citizen and not just a state citizen. She doesn’t want to have to fear going to jail every time she sees a police officer.”
None of her requests are unreasonable: they’re fundamental rights everyone in America should have. Throw in that she’s a child and the fact that she has to concern herself with such matters and this whole thing grows even more infuriating.
Still, the thought of Jeff Sessions being taken down by someone not yet in high school is pretty great.
Her lawsuit goes after Sessions as well as the Controlled Substance Act.
To recap, this act was passed in 1970, nearly half a century ago. To say it’s outdated is an understatement. The world has made all sorts of progress since then (including in the realm of weed). Why in the world would this act be an exception?
The CSA lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug and that’s where the issue really lies. By placing the pot in this category, the government puts it in the company of heroin, ecstasy, and LSD. And, in an attempt to forego any semblance of common sense, it also labels it more dangerous than cocaine or meth.
This leaves most of us scratching our head with our index fingers and using our middle fingers for something else. This confusion is particularly acute when you read the Schedule I text.
It includes the following:
The drug has a high potential for abuse. The drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.
Now, let’s look at this through a marijuana lens.
The drug has high potential for abuse: While some studies show that people can grow somewhat dependent on marijuana in certain cases, it certainly doesn’t have “high” potential for abuse. Most people have smoked weed plenty of times without getting addicted. What’s more, drugs in lower categories present more potential for abuse: it’s easier to get hooked on Tramadol than THC.
The drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States: Twenty-nine states have passed medical marijuana laws. Innumerous studies have discussed the benefits of cannabis. Seniors are the fastest demographic of marijuana users because of pot’s ability to quiet chronic pain. Alexis and her family moved to Colorado (as have so many others) so she could use cannabis to treat her seizures.
To say a drug has no accepted medicinal use when there are millions of people using it as medicine is ridiculous. And it’s libel. Mary Jane should also sue.
There is lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision: The scheduled drugs in all categories are filled with medicines that have the potential to be unsafe. Some lead to fatal overdoses on their own, some lead to it when combined with alcohol, and others just have side effects that aren’t exactly conducive to health. Then there is pot: one of these is not like the other! You can overdose on marijuana in that you can get too high, but it’ll only ruin your night, not your life. Cannabis – as much as people have tried to prove its dangers – just isn’t malicious.
Still, some studies are limited in what cannabis can and can’t do. The reason is because of its schedule. Studying a Schedule I drug involves a lot of red tape that researchers simply don’t want to deal with. It’s also a risk for some; going out on a limb for pot can put a career in jeopardy.
Then there’s the fact that the government is determined to find Mary Jane’s flaws; most of the studies they back are futile searches to discover dope’s drawbacks and not attempts to prove its benefits. Couple that with the fact that government researchers use the same, weak weed for all their testing and it’s fair to argue that most government ganja research is a giant waste of time.
So, suffice it to stay, Alexis certainly has a case.
She’s not alone, either. Marvin Washington, a former NFL lineman; Jagger Cotte, a 6-year-old from Georgia with Leigh Syndrome; Jose Belen, an Army veteran; and The Cannabis Cultural Association are also on board as plaintiffs.
The Justice Department, not surprisingly, has filed a memo supporting the motion to dismiss the case. When contacted by NBC News, they did not want to comment.
Alex’s Life Pre-Cannabis
Before she began using Cannatol RX to treat her seizures (seizures she’d had since the age of seven), she tried a number of prescription pills that all failed to work. She and her family were left with two choices: marijuana or brain surgery. It’s easy to see why they chose option A.
Since taking cannabis, Alexis has not had a seizure for nearly three years. But her life isn’t void of restrictions.
Not only did she have to move, but she’s not allowed to visit Texas (or see her elderly grandparents who still reside there) unless she does so without her cannabis medication. She’s also not allowed to go anywhere cannabis is federally illegal, including National Parks. Nor can she visit places where marijuana remains banned (like Disneyland). The Schedule I classification is a big reason for this.
Who knows if the lawsuit will do anything: Sessions has, thus far, not responded to common sense or the peoples’ desires. Maybe he’ll respond to a child’s plea for normalcy. We can only hope.