Home»Health»Trading Texas, pills, and seizures for Colorado, cannabis, and bikes

Trading Texas, pills, and seizures for Colorado, cannabis, and bikes

Seizure patient Alexis Bortell and her younger sister Avery riding their first bikes together.
Alexis Bortell and her younger sister Avery riding their first bikes together.

A 9-year-old girl who once suffered from severe seizures has found new life after moving from Texas to Colorado.

Alexis Bortell used to have dozens of seizures each day, all while taking prescribed pills which weren’t doing much to help mitigate the effects of her epilepsy.

Her doctors recommended medical marijuana, which has shown to be effective at treating seizure disorders.

That medicine is illegal in Texas however, and earlier this year her family made the decision to move where she could get the proper care she needs.

After beginning her dosage of cannabis in liquid form, she made it 33 days without experiencing any seizure activity, something her parents regarded as complete success. What eventually brought on another seizure was a stomach bug, however since that time, which was about a month ago, she hasn’t experienced any more seizure symptoms.

Medical marijuana in liquid form.
Medical marijuana in liquid form.
Alexis after a recent trip to the bowling alley.
Alexis after a recent trip to the bowling alley.

This has allowed her to do things such as ride a bike for the first time with her younger sister, and go to school without having to worry if she’ll have a seizure during class. She even recently went bowling, and her parents feel like her childhood is constantly getting better thanks to her treatments of medical marijuana.

Before she left the state, Alexis became one of many faces for the medical cannabis movement, speaking at rallies and talking to her representative about the need for a medical marijuana program in Texas. She also appeared on the local news in north Texas where she once lived.

Her father, Dean Bortell, has been working hard to ensure legislators knows about the success she has experienced, and plans to fly in from Colorado to testify for a medical marijuana bill at a legislative hearing on Tuesday.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

HB 3785 would legalize cannabis as a whole and set up a dispensary system which would be regulated by the Health & Human Services department. It would cover a number of medical issues, including pain, seizures, cancer patients, and those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The bill also has a provision which would allow patients to petition the state to have their medical issues covered under the program as well.

Dean also plans to speak at the Fort Worth Global Marijuana March on Saturday, May 2 about the need for medical cannabis in Texas.

“If you haven’t traveled to a state with a good medical program (like Colorado) then you owe it to your constituents to make the trip,” he states. “After witnessing the miracles cannabis can perform first-hand I think that once legislators make an attempt to educate themselves about this medicine there is no other vote they could cast other than ‘Yes’.”

Due to Texas law, Alexis will not be able to attend either the hearing or the march without the risk of having another seizure since she would not be able to bring her medicine with her.

By: Stephen Carter

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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