CBS11 first interviewed Bortell almost three years ago, while she was living in Rowlett. She was suffering from seizures and lobbying the state to legalize medical marijuana.
When her condition worsened, her family moved to Colorado to begin treating her with cannabis oil.
Today, she says she is seizure-free.
“I’m doing what I consider pretty well — 866 days seizure free,” said Bortell from her new home in Colorado.
Now she has her sights set on changing federal law.
Bortell is one of five plantiffs suing the government over its classification of marijuana as a schedule one drug. The classification prevents Bortell and her family from traveling while carrying the oil where it’s illegal.
“Kids like me and their families, we can’t travel to places like Yellowstone or The Capitol,” said Bortell.
Her attorneys argue the government’s own policies contradict themselves.
“The federal government, on the one hand, is saying cannabis is so dangerous it can’t be tested and has no medical application at all and at the same time the United States government has a medical patent saying it does have medical applications,” said attorney Michael Hiller.
Bortell said she tries to win over critics who oppose her medical choices…
“I do try to talk to them and do want to educate them, but sometimes they’re haters,” she said with a shrug.
Convincing the Department of Justice or even President Donald Trump himself would be a real accomplishment to Bortell.
“Very good. Amazing, actually,” she admitted.
The lawsuit was filed July 24 and the federal government has not yet responded.
Texans with intractable epilepsy – like Bortell – are set to gain legal access to medical marijuana within the next year. But they will be limited to low THC versions of the drug, which Bortell said did not work for her.