The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed several misleading claims about marijuana from its website in response to a legal petition filed by the nonprofit pro-marijuana group Americans for Safe Access (ASA). [1]

On December 5, ASA filed a legal challenge alleging that the DEA had published 25 false statements about marijuana in a nearly 45-page document titled “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” and that those statements violated the Data Quality Act. Also known as the Information Quality Act, the law is intended ensure that government agencies provide the public with only quality, objective, information. [1] [2]

As of February 13, the document was no longer available on the DEA’s website.

Steph Sherer, ASA’s executive director, said in a statement:

“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis.” [1]

Even former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted that marijuana is not a gateway drug.

Some of the bogus statements ASA took issue with include:

  • Cannabis causes psychosis
  • Smoking marijuana causes head, neck, and lung cancer
  • Marijuana use a precursor to illicit drug use and heroin addiction [2]

Read: U.S. National Cancer Institute Admits Marijuana may Kill Cancer Cells

Those statements were contradicted by the DEA itself in its August 2016 Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana.

Agencies have 60 days to respond to requests to correct the information, ASA said it a statement.

However, the removal of the “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse” does not eliminate all of the outdated marijuana myths from the DEA’s website, which is why ASA says “the fight is not over.”

Sherer said:

“This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis. While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.” [3]

Read: DEA says Marijuana will Remain Illegal at the Federal Level

Vickie Feemam of the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe added:

“We are hopeful the DEA will also remove the remaining statements rather than continue to mislead the public in the face of the scientifically proven benefits of medical cannabis.”

Sources:

[1] SFGate.com

[2] The Cannabist

[3] Merry Jane


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About Julie Fidler:
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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.