Group Challenges Feds on Marijuana Laws
An Oakland-based advocacy group on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Oakland federal court against the federal government that challenges the accuracy of its stance on marijuana, citing several studies that found the drug might have medicinal value, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Americans for Safe Access cited studies that found marijuana might be an effective treatment for HIV patients, AIDS wasting, muscle spasticity and chronic pain (Bailey, Los Angeles Times, 2/22).
Joe Elford, an attorney for ASA, said the group filed the suit under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, which allows judicial review and reversal of any agency action found to be arbitrary (Richman, Contra Costa Times, 2/22)
The lawsuit says the government's stance that marijuana has no medicinal value is "false and misleading" (Los Angeles Times, 2/22). The group is calling on the government to retract and correct statements that ASA says are "incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws," the New York Times reports (Marshall, New York Times, 2/22).
HHS spokesperson Christina Pearson would not comment on the suit. She cited an April 2006 statement that federal evaluations have found "no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana" (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/22).
Steph Sherer, executive director of ASA, said, "The federal government has had enough information in front of it for years to break the gridlock of this issue" (Contra Costa Times, 2/22).