Fort Worth cannabis expo draws thousands

Zahid Arab reports on the event

The rules were strict this weekend at the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo: No Cannabis allowed on site and none allowed to be used.

But that only seemed to empower the crowd, intent on helping to make marijuana legal for recreation and medical uses.

One advocate is 10-year-old Alexis Bortell who now lives in Colorado and calls herself a Texas medical refugee.

She told crowds, "I use medical marijuana every day and my Republican parents are proud of me."

Bortell, formerly of Rowlett, says her epilepsy gave her seizures every there days while taking pharmaceutical medications.

"In the hospital they stuck me with needles, put me in a tube that made loud banging noises and stuck a whole bunch of funny wires on my head that smelled terrible," she said.

Bortell says doctors suggested using THC. It's a chemical in marijuana and illegal in Texas, but not in Colorado so Bortell became a medical refugee.

"With all the arguing in Texas, I thought it was going to be a big deal, but it turns out it was just a brown oil in a glass bottle that smells like a skunk," she said.  

Last March, Bortell started using THC and cannabis to control her condition.

"I'm happy to say the seizures went away and today I'm 346 days seizure free. My life is so much better now," she said.

Although the Texas legislature has legalized cannabis oil for Texans with her condition - intractable epilepsy - any other use is still illegal and Bortell says the state's no-THC law won't bring any refugees home.


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