16, 2008, Marijuana Policy Project
(MPP) filed a Data Quality Act
Petition requesting that the drug czar's office correct
information printed in the 2008 Marijuana
Sourcebook — specifically, the claim that marijuana is the
greatest cause of illegal drug abuse.
Data Quality Act case now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit, Americans for Safe Access v. Department of Health and Human
Services, No. 07-17388 (ASA v. DHHS) found there is no right to
judicial review from a Data Quality Act petition. In its Order Granting Motion to
Dismiss, November 20, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California held that "plaintiff has not shown that
the action it seeks to compel is legally required."
the Ninth Circuit reverses the ruling, ASA’s complaint is still based on
science, as stated in the opening paragraph of their Amended Complaint:
Despite numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies
establishing that marijuana is effective in treating AIDS wasting syndrome,
muscle spasticity, emesis, appetite loss, and chronic pain, the Department of
Health and Human Services (“HHS”) continues to tell the public that marijuana
“has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
On reviewing the Administrator's decision, we found the
eight-factor test for determining whether a drug had a "currently accepted
medical use" to be "in the main acceptable." ACT, 930
F.2d at 937. We noted the ambiguity of the phrase and the dearth of legislative
history on point and deferred to the Administrator's interpretation as
reasonable. Id. at 939 (citing Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural
Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837, 843-45, 81 L. Ed. 2d 694, 104 S.
Ct. 2778 (1984) (court may not substitute its own construction of ambiguous
statutory provision for reasonable interpretation by agency of statute
entrusted to its administration)).
Administrator’s final ruling in Gettman v. DEA, 290
F.3d 430 (D.C. Cir. 2002), affirms ACT v. DEA and makes
very clear what is missing:
You do not assert in your petition that marijuana has a
currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or that
marijuana has an accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Reg. 20038 (April 18, 2001) (DEA Administrator’s response to Mr. Gettman's
obvious there is a missing piece that everyone else is leaving out. What about
13 state medical marijuana laws? Don’t they mean anything? What does “accepted
medical use in treatment in the United States” mean? What did the U.S. Supreme
Court mean in Gonzales v. Oregon?
The Attorney General ... is not authorized to make a rule declaring
illegitimate a medical standard for care and treatment of patients that is
specifically authorized under state law.
v. Oregon, 546 U.S. 243, 258 (2006).
is enough science that 13 states decide something has accepted medical use, the
question is no longer a matter of science. Science has done it's part and now
its a matter of law. Do the states have any say in the matter? The U.S. Supreme
Court says they do. I'm putting my bets on the U.S. Supreme Court, because the
DEA has the losing hand.