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October 2004



And now, here’s something YOU can do…

Speaking of using every tool at your disposal, here’s an action alert for tomorrow (maybe today depending on when you read this) – Tuesday, October 5, 2004.
Phone/ Fax Slam to Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Health & Human Servicesæ – Tuesday, Oct 5
Send a free Fax or Email from the Americans for Safe Access online action center on Tuesday. Follow up with a toll-free phone call to 877-696-6775. Tell Tommy Thomson, the head of Health and Human Services:

Marijuana does have a currentlyæaccepted use inæmedicalætreatment.
Please remember that the health and safety ofæpeopleæwhoæbenefit fromæthe medical use ofæmarijuana is in your hands.

WHY HHS?æ To ensure safe access for ALL patients, marijuana must be rescheduled, and its medicinal value recognized on the federal level. Health and Human Services (HHS) has the power to make this change. If HSS allows that marijuana has medical value, the DEA must recommend rescheduling. However, in 2001, HHS ruled that marijuana had, “No currently accepted medical use in treatment.” They did not address the mountain of data recognizing cannabis as a useful treatment. This allowed the DEA to reject rescheduling and gave them implicit permission to raid patients.

Six months later, the DEA started raiding and closing California dispensaries. Our highest health officials can stop this abuse simplyæby doing their job and applying sound science to this policy debate. Reschedule marijuana now!

New Initiative Planned to Get Marijuana Curbs Eased

This is fascinating:

Americans for Safe Access, a Berkeley, Calif., coalition of patients and doctors wanting easier access to pot for research and patient use, plans to file a petition with the Department of Health and Human Services charging the agency with spreading inaccurate information about the drug’s medical value.

Unlike previous efforts to ease marijuana access, which relied on the courts and have dragged on for years, the petition invokes the Data Quality Act, a little-known but powerful law that gives people the right to challenge scientific information disseminated by federal agencies.æ The law demands that agencies respond to petitions within two months.

The act’s use by marijuana advocates represents a peculiar political twist.æ The act was written by a tobacco industry lobbyist and slipped into a huge piece of legislation after the 2000 election without any congressional discussion or debate.æ It has been used almost exclusively by corporations challenging the validity of scientific information that they fear might lead to costly regulations.

I love it! Use every tool, every means at your disposal. We’ve got voter initiatives, a case in the Supreme Court, cities exploring alternate approaches, TV Shows and much more.
And that’s what it’ll take. Eventually we’ll reach a point of saturation where politicians will be embarrassed to oppose medical marijuana or even marijuana legalization.