August 7, 2007 - Tuesday


News from the Wide World of Medical Marijuana!

Thanks to Summer Glenney for this information.

Suit Over Pot's 'Benefit' Stumbles

Matthew Hirsch
The Recorder
July 30, 2007

An Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit can't put the federal government on trial
for saying that marijuana has no medical use -- but it might get to
challenge the government for blowing deadlines, a federal judge in
California ruled last week.

Americans for Safe Access sued in February after two federal agencies
refused to alter government-published statements saying marijuana has "no
currently accepted medical use in the United States."

In an eight-page ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup agreed
with Justice Department lawyers that the federal Information Quality Act
provides for only administrative, not judicial, review for people to
challenge the "quality, objectivity, utility and integrity" of information
disseminated by federal agencies.

Alsup's ruling didn't address the government's claim that ASA lacked
standing because it failed to identify members who suffered harm from the
disputed statements or to show how the issue was germane to ASA's
organizational purpose.

Though Alsup rejected ASA's bid to revise those statements, he hinted the
plaintiff might be able to at least force the government to address its
assertion within a 60-day period provided by law.

"Conceivably," Alsup wrote, "a district court may order an agency to act on
the merits of an information-correction petition within a specific time

The Northern District judge dismissed the complaint in ASA v. Department of
Health and Human Services, 07-01049, with leave to amend.

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