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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: A treatment worth suing over


Colorado inhabitant Alexis Bortell is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the U.S. Controlled Substance Act. 

Bortell has epilepsy that is difficult to manage and takes cannabis oil daily to help her symptoms and treat her disease. 

Because not all states have legal access to cannabis, Bortell and her family had to move from Texas to Colorado so she could continue her treatment. 

The issue of marijuana legalization is creating an epidemic of medical refugees

Cannabis has been proven to have several health benefits when used medically for various afflictions, including cancer patients going through chemotherapy, people with epilepsy and people with extreme menstrual pains and complications. 

Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule I controlled substance, the same as heroin. Meanwhile, cocaine, amphetamines and fentanyl receive a lower schedule than marijuana.

The Editorial Board supports Bortell’s case against Sessions. 

Bortell is suing under the premise that families should not have to move to states with legalized marijuana just to adequately treat medical conditions, including epilepsy. 

Alcohol is legal across all 50 states and almost 88,000 people die from either impaired driving or alcohol poisoning a year. 

Cigarettes are legal across all 50 states even when they are proven to cause emphysema, lung cancer, throat cancer, gum disease and so on. Six million deaths a year are caused by cigarettes. 

Meanwhile, marijuana has no history of reported overdoses and has proved effective in treatment for several ailments, be it pain relief or treatment for epilepsy and cancer. 

The restriction on marijuana is incredibly irresponsible and based on very little fact. It instead is based on stereotypes, largely held from the conservative side of the aisle. 

America is facing an opioid epidemic yet still prescribes highly addictive medicines to patients regularly. One out of five patients without pain-related diagnoses and cancer pain are prescribed opioids a day. It is estimated that 15,000 people died in 2015 from overdosing on prescription pain pills. 

If cannabis oil has no reported deaths and a slew of proven health benefits, it is hypocritical to prohibit its use, let alone categorize it with heroin. 

For the government to oppose legalization is further restricting the health care Americans receive despite medical studies and facts. 

However, looking at at Sessions’ track record, it is no surprise he is trying to stop yet another progressive measure in the United States. 

Earlier this year, Sessions approved and pushed for the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows minors who came here illegally to defer deportation and continue education and work in the country. President Trump specifically chose him to make the announcement.

Sessions also spoke about police brutality and failed to address the issue fully and admitted to ignoring biases in the force. 

Sessions and the current government are opposed to many opportunities the country can take toward improving the quality of life for Americans. 

First it was immigrants, then it was people subjected to police brutality and now it is families and children depending on medical cannabis for treatment. 

Bortell and her family have every right to sue for this gross and unfair misconduct, and the Editorial Board wishes her the best of luck. 

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