ASA Forces Government’s Hand on Medical Marijuana Misinformation

Patients group files motion for summary judgment in Landmark Federal Lawsuit

Americans for Safe Access

For more than three years, the federal government has been stalling on correcting its misinformation about medical cannabis. But new legal action by ASA should force the government to act soon.

In October 2004, ASA filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), asking that the department stop saying that marijuana “has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” This petition was a landmark use of a little-known law called the Data Quality Act (DQA), which requires that federal agencies use sound science in the information they disseminate and the policies they make. After more than two years of delays, HHS finally rejected the petition, and in February, ASA filed a lawsuit to force the federal government to acknowledge its own reports and recommendations on medical cannabis. The latest move is a motion for summary judgment that should compel the government to answer immediately.

By filing the motion for summary judgment, ASA will force the case to be heard in roughly 90 days. This rare legal move, where judgment is requested from the court before the government has a chance to answer the lawsuit complaint, indicates ASA’s confidence in the volume of scientific evidence demonstrating marijuana’s medical efficacy.

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