Finally bowing before the altar of public pressure and common decency, the DEA has stripped its website of some rather misleading and inaccurate information regarding marijuana consumption and its purported health effects.
After months of dishing out alternative facts (read: blatant misrepresentations) in lieu of scientific evidence, a legal challenge brought by Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has compelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to remove more than two-dozen factually inaccurate statements about marijuana from their highly erroneous website.
Defending accuracy and honesty for the benefit of all Americans, the ASA coerced the DEA through a legal petition filed on Dec. 5, 2016, to remove the majority of these deceptive assertions. Citing the DEA’s direct violation of the Data Quality Act, which prohibits federal agencies from providing deceitful “facts” under the guise of useful “information,” the ASA’s petition requested the correction of these duplicitous statements within 60 days.
Found particularly egregious by the ASA, one DEA publication, “Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana”, included 23 of the 25 factual manipulations in direct violation of the Data Quality Act. Now scrubbed from their website and relegated to the garbage heap of history are the DEA’s odious claims that marijuana is a gateway drug, causes an irreversible cognitive decline in adults, and is a primary contributor to both psychosis and lung cancer.
A battle hardened victory for supporters of real information vs. alternative facts, Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for State Access noted:
“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.”
Primarily now corrected, Americans for Safe Access have vowed to tenaciously pursue and monitor the DEA’s progress at correcting the remaining inaccuracies to ensure all “damaging information” is removed from their website.
Optimistic and resolute, Vicki Freeman, a lawyer with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe notes: “the DEA continues to disseminate many damaging facts about the health risks of medical cannabis and patients across the country face ongoing harm as a result of these alternative facts. 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.”
With factual accuracy now an overriding imperative, thanks to the recent swearing-in of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as our new United States Atty. Gen., the ASA opines in their recent memo, “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.”