Pubdate: Fri, 1 Oct 2004
Source: DrugSense Weekly
Section: Feature Article
Note: By Americans For Safe Access
Related: Data Quality Act
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


When the government says there is no medical use for marijuana, it's just 
plain wrong, according to a petition being filed Monday under the Data 
Quality Act, a little-known law that requires federal agencies to rely on 
sound science.

If the patient-advocacy group filing the claim prevails, the Department of 
Health and Human Services will have to change its tune on medical marijuana 
and publicly admit that the drug is now routinely used for medical treatment.

Americans for Safe Access, the national medical-marijuana advocacy group 
responsible for the petition, will hold a noon press conference at the 
National Press Club. Reporters will enjoy a light lunch and hear from 
leading researchers, medical marijuana patients, and representatives from a 
few of the dozens of professional health organizations that have endorsed 
changing federal rules on medical marijuana, including the American Public 
Health Association and the American Nurses Association.

At issue is the government's insistence that "marijuana has no currently 
accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." According to the 
petition, scientific research, federal reports and patient experience all 
show marijuana works for pain, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, and 

Admitting marijuana has medical use would clear the way to allowing doctors 
to prescribe marijuana to their patients. Currently, nine states have laws 
permitting patients to legally use it, but they are at odds with the 
federal prohibition that ranks marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine or 

Those debunking the government's claim will include Marcus Conant, M.D., 
leading HIV/AIDS clinician and researcher whose suit against the government 
established the right of physicians to recommend marijuana to their 
patients; Denis Petro, M.D., chief of neurology, Malcolm Grow Medical 
Center of Andrews Air Force Base, a leading researcher in treating Multiple 
Sclerosis with marijuana and its cannabinoid components; and Robert 
Melamede, Ph.D., chair of the biology department, University of Colorado at 
Colorado Springs, where he researches and teaches on the role of 
cannabinoids in health and disease.

For more information about Americans for Safe Access visit 
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