In spite of the fact that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) refused once again this year to downgrade marijuana from the same classification as heroin, a national organization dedicated to the reform of antiquated pot laws in the United States has filed a petition in hopes of forcing the drug agency to correct the callous misinformation it continues to spread about a plant that has been made legal in over half the nation.
The petition, which was submitted earlier this week to the U.S. Department of Justice, is an attempt to convince Uncle Sam’s leading drug enforcers to update the information they have published online to paint a more accurate portrait of the cannabis plant.
Americans for Safe Access Foundation (ASA), the group responsible for filing the complaint, says the DEA’s website “contains inaccurate statements that do not meet the standards of quality” as outlined under federal law.
At its core, the petition, citing 25 violations to the Information Quality Act, points to the DEA’s willingness to perpetuate the idea that the cannabis plant has no medicinal benefit, even though the agency’s most recent rejection to reschedule the herb under the Controlled Substances Act contains “scientific facts about medical cannabis that have long been accepted by a majority of the scientific community.”
The primary gruff, according to ASA, is the DEA website and the message it contains is often used by members of Congress when formulating a plan of attack against matters pertaining to nationwide marijuana reform.
“We are simply taking the DEA’s own statements, which confirm scientific facts about medical cannabis, and analysis that has long been accepted by a majority of the scientific community,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told MERRY JANE in a statement. “Our request is simple: the DEA must change its public information to better comport with its own expressed views, so that Congress has access to the appropriate tools to make informed decisions about public health.”
As it stands, 28 states have legalized the leaf for medicinal purposes, most of which allow the herb to be recommended for conditions ranging from chronic pain to ailments more life threatening in nature. Yet, the federal government still considers anything derived from the cannabis plant to be a highly addictive substance that is often abused.
It has been suggested that President Obama might perform some last minute executive magic with respect to marijuana legalization before he moves out of the White House.
Organizers with ASA believe getting the DEA to change its web presence with respect to marijuana would be an acceptable action.
“This is something President Obama can correct before he leaves office,” Sherer said. “We cannot have this misinformation continue to inaccurately influence the minds of Congressional representatives and government agencies.”
View the petition here.