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ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, APRIL 17 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this June 17, 2015, file photo, marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn. With the pending signature of Gov. Doug Burgum, medical marijuana is about to become legal in North Dakota. The state Health Department hopes to have the system operating in a year, with registered patients able to obtain the drug from eight state-approved dispensaries. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

A 12-year-old who takes medical marijuana for seizures is suing Jeff Sessions and the DEA


A 12-year-old girl who takes medical marijuana to combat her epilepsy is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Alexis Bortell and several other behind the lawsuit say the Controlled Substances Act is unconstitutional.

Bortell and her family were forced to uproot their life in Texas and move to Colorado, where it's legal for her to take the medicine that gives her a normal life. Since using a cannabis-derived oil twice a day, the seizures that overwhelmed her a few times a week have now disappeared altogether. She told CBS News that she hasn't had a seizure in nearly 1,000 days.

The cannabis used by epileptic patients does not cause the mind-altering effects typically attributed to marijuana. Two major ingredients can be derived from cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produces psychoactive effects, and can be used to treat pain and nausea. Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive, and can alleviate pain in many patients who suffer from seizures, among other medical benefits.

Some medical experts are unsure of the benefits of medical marijuana, and want further research.

But Bortell told CBS News that, before turning to cannabis, her prescribed epilepsy medications didn't work, and doctors had begun to suggest brain surgery. Now the young activist is determined to make sure patients like her can have access to medical marijuana across the country.

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