It took a legal filing and a sustained campaign, but it seems the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has finally removed inaccurate information about cannabis from its website. Well, some of it apparently.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a legal request (PDF) with the Department of Justice late last year demanding the DEA rectify what it identified as misinformation about cannabis. The organisation also launched a related petition that attracted more than 104,000 signatures.
ASA says it found dozens of instances of false claims on the DEA’s website, among them that cannabis was a gateway drug and caused irreversible cognitive decline in adults. 23 instances of misinformation were reportedly in a single publication.
“This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access..
“While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.”
The group’s continuing battle is currently on two fronts. The first is the U.S government is apparently one week beyond the required deadline to respond to the legal petition.
According to the White House web site:
“If you gather 100,000 signature in 30 days, we’ll review your petition, make sure it gets in front of the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.”
While the total is well over 100k, what’s not clear is if it occurred within thirty days.
ASA also claims the DEA is continuing to spread false information about cannabis in a position statement on marijuana (PDF) published in 2013; which the group says may have been an “honest oversight” of the Administration. It also says two other documents containing false statements are yet to be updated or removed.
“It is crucial that the DEA correct its inaccurate statements, especially in light of Senator Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as Attorney General of the United States,” said the ASA in a letter to the DEA (PDF).
Jeff Sessions has stated in the past he would fight medical marijuana legislation and ASA says he has used erroneous information to back his views.
“Allowing Mr. Sessions to make law enforcement decisions based on biased, out-of-date information does a tremendous disservice to ASA’s members and the American people at large.”