Require agencies to change their falsehoods under the "Information Quality Act"
Congress passed the Information Quality Act to require government agencies to tell the truth, and to respond and correct their facts when citizens point out falsehoods.

But agencies get stuck in their lies and decline to follow this law. In particular, there's a current court case against HHS regarding whether marijuana has any legitimate use in medicine. The agency has argued to the court that despite the Act, they have no obligation to revise facts that they publish, and that citizens have no standing to take an agency to court to make it correct its lies. The District Court bought this argument; the case is now in the 9th Circuit.


The Obama administration should by Executive Order require agencies to correct their falsehoods, and to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts and the standing of requesters in doing so. And if the courts determine that the IQA does not provide sufficient jurisdiction for a lawsuit, it should be revised by Congress to have enough teeth that lying agencies can be brought, kicking and screaming, to the truth.

Why Is This Idea Important?

Obama claims that his administration's policies will be based on truth, not falsehood; and on sound science. The agencies currently make a mockery of this, denying knowledgeable citizens the tools to force agencies to retract their false statements, publish the truth, and base their policies and rulemaking on the truth. Thirteen states make marijuana legal as a medicine. Many hundreds of thousands of patients are using it today, under the care of tens of thousands of doctors. Yet HHS, FDA and DEA all persist in claiming there is "no accepted medical use" of marijuana. Close to 70% of the public accepts marijuana as a useful medicine, both in polls and when they have a chance to vote to make it legal (63% in Nov 2008 in Michigan). This is one of the more blatant examples of federal policies that are for political reasons deliberately and systematically based on a long-standing falsehood. Obama should not let it stay that way.