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.