The integrity of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been targeted recently, but as a result, the agency decided to remove several misrepresentations of health risks associated with cannabis from its website. The DEA dropped the facts shortly after being compelled to do so by a legal challenge brought forth by the Americans for Safe Access (ASA).
Under the Data Quality Act, which is also known as the Information Quality Act, federal agencies are prohibited from providing deceitful facts under the guise of information. The Data Quality Act is meant to preserve the quality and objectivity of information that government agencies provide.
The ASA’s lawsuit, which was filed on December 5, 2016, claims that the DEA’s website provided misleading information to the public. The ASA demanded that the DEA correct the statements within 60 days. The ASA pointed out that of all the claims statements, one stood out in particular. The “Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana,” which reportedly included 25 entries that are in violation with the Data Quality Act. The 45-page publication was taken down from the website by Valentine’s Day. Statements included the assertion that cannabis causes psychosis, that cannabis causes brain, neck and lung tumors, and the oldest tale in the book—the assertion that cannabis use leads to heroin use as a gateway drug.
It’s a surprising victory for the ASA and cannabis activists everywhere. “The DEA’s removal of these popular myths about cannabis from their website could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” stated Steph Sherer, executive director of ASA. “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.”