Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition demanding the USA’s Drug Enforcement Adminstration (DEA) corrects misleading information on its website about medicinal cannabis.
The campaign goes beyond a petition – Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a legal request (PDF) with the Department of Justice in early December under the Information Quality Act (IQA) demanding the DEA immediately update what it identifies as misinformation.
In the DOJ request, ASA stresses it does not claim cannabis is entirely harmless or lacks any risk.
“However, medical cannabis provides relief to a substantial portion of our population and it provides hope to many who live with chronic and incurable ailments.”
The petition’s introduction states 25 instances of false claims regarding the “gateway theory” and other supposed dangers of cannabis are still on the Department’s website.
“It’s illegal for the government to disseminate inaccurate information and the DEA must be held accountable,” says the ASA’s Beth Collins.
“This misinformation hurts the millions of medical cannabis patients in the 29 states where cannabis treatment is legal, as well as patients in other states who are working to pass laws, for whom safe and reliable access to marijuana is a matter of necessity.”
ASA claims politicians have been using the misinformation to justify opposition to medical cannabis laws. In a video accompanying the campaign, it cites an example involving Senator Jeff Sessions, who is quoted as saying:
“People may be psychologically impacted the rest of their lives with marijuana. And if they go on to more serious drugs, which tends to happen.”
The Jeff Sessions example is particularly important as U.S President-elect Donald Trump has picked Senator Sessions as the nation’s next Attorney General.
At the time the ASA published a statement concerning the petition (January 5), around 70,000 people from around the world had signed. That number has quickly grown since, to nearly 90,000.
The petition is being directed to President Barack Obama – but time is running out if he is going to act. President Obama’s last day in his current role will be January 20, 2017.