Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has all but refused to consider the cannabis plant as having any medicinal application within the confines of the Controlled Substances Act, the nation’s leading drug sniffing hounds recently eliminated some misinformation about the potential dangers of the herb from the its website.
The update to the agency’s digital presence was made after Americans for Safe Access, a nonprofit advocacy group fighting for marijuana to be recognized for its medicinal function, filed a petition with the higher ups at the U.S. Department of Justice demanding the DEA eliminate inaccurate language from its marijuana-related material.
Some of the DEA’s erroneousness claims, which came in the form of a document entitled “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” indicated that marijuana caused psychosis, cancer, and destroys cognitive function. The petition filed by Americans for Safe Access said the agency was in violation of the federal Information Quality Act by publishing these claims.
“The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “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.”
Unfortunately, while marijuana advocates consider the changes to the DEA’s website a modest victory, the drug agency still has not formally responded to the petition. As of yesterday, the agency is one week past the deadline to provide the group with an official reply. Furthermore, the law firm representing Americans for Safe Access claims there are more misleading statements that need to be taken down.
“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 Feemam of the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Americans for Safe Access believes it is crucial for the federal government to publish accurate information regarding the cannabis plant, especially since the majority of the setbacks regarding the legalization of marijuana in the United States can be largely attributed to the gross misinformation being spread regarding its safety.