It looks like the US Drug Enforcement Administration is moving away from the use of alternative facts. The agency finally took down some of the inaccurate statements about cannabis that were on their website. For example, “the federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis.”
This is surprising considering the agency chose not to reschedule marijuana last year. In fact, the agency said, “it does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse.”
Why The Sudden Change?
The information was taken down after an advocacy group named Americans For Safe Access Foundation submitted a legal petition to have the DEA remove false claims. The petition claims having misleading statements on the government website violates the federal Data Quality Act. The act makes sure federal agencies are providing the most accurate information in their publications.
The recent change illustrates the agency has been lying to the public. However, the Americans For Safe Access’ executive director praised the removal of the claims.
“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock,” she said.
The Fights Not Over
Unfortunately, the ASA still feels the DEA has more misinformation to correct. The agency has yet to respond to the petition directly, and the deadline was last week. As a result, ASA lawyers sent them another letter. This time, asking for a reply and the removal of several other statements the ASA finds misleading.
“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,” said Vickie Feeman, of the Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe law firm.
Our last Attorney General was the first to admit that “cannabis is not, in fact, a gateway drug.” On the other hand, newly appointed Jeff Sessions has been evidently against marijuana use for a long time. More recently, he admitted he wouldn’t be as lax on legal marijuana states as the Obama administration.
So, now is the time to crackdown on government agencies for misinforming the public. Jeff Sessions has used Lady Gaga as an example of the potential for cannabis addiction. We need our government to use facts and valid sources when informing the public. He has perpetuated pots harm without scientific evidence and said: “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
The DEA has removed popular myths from their website such as cannabis being a gateway drug and causing psychosis. However, there are still statements that the ASA is fighting to have removed. They point to scientific studies that disprove claims that remain on the DEA website. One is that marijuana causes schizophrenia.
The ASA’s petition claims Several Congressman fighting marijuana legalization do so because of the inaccurate information published by the DEA. As a result, they fight to keep cannabis a Schedule I drug, making it inaccessible to many patients who need it. If the DEA published studies illustrating the medicinal benefit of cannabis lawmakers might come around sooner.