Pubdate: Mon, 30 Jul 2007
Source: Recorder, The (CA)
Copyright: 2007 ALM Properties, Inc.
Author: Matthew Hirsch, The Recorder
Cited: Americans for Safe Access
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


An Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit can't put the federal government 
on trial for saying that marijuana has no medical use -- but it might 
get to challenge the government for blowing deadlines, a federal 
judge in California ruled last week.

Americans for Safe Access sued in February after two federal agencies 
refused to alter government-published statements saying marijuana has 
"no currently accepted medical use in the United States."

In an eight-page ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup 
agreed with Justice Department lawyers that the federal Information 
Quality Act provides for only administrative, not judicial, review 
for people to challenge the "quality, objectivity, utility and 
integrity" of information disseminated by federal agencies.

Alsup's ruling didn't address the government's claim that ASA lacked 
standing because it failed to identify members who suffered harm from 
the disputed statements or to show how the issue was germane to ASA's 
organizational purpose.

Though Alsup rejected ASA's bid to revise those statements, he hinted 
the plaintiff might be able to at least force the government to 
address its assertion within a 60-day period provided by law.

"Conceivably," Alsup wrote, "a district court may order an agency to 
act on the merits of an information-correction petition within a 
specific time frame."

The Northern District judge dismissed the complaint in ASA v. 
Department of Health and Human Services, 07-01049, with leave to amend. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake