Trichome-rich cannabis plants grown in an indoor Washington grow facility.

Rory Savatgy

DEA Removes Some Cannabis Myths from Website

The Drug Enforcement Agency has removed factually inaccurate information about cannabis from its website following public pressure and a legal request filed last year by Americans for Safe Access.

The legal request, filed with the Department of Justice, argued that the DEA website contained more than 25 false statements about cannabis – a violation of the Information Quality Act – 23 of which appeared in a publication titled “Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana.”

Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, suggested that the removal of the “myths,” which included claims that cannabis was a gateway drug, contributed to lung cancer and psychosis, and caused an irreversible cognitive decline in adults, “could mean the end of the Washington gridlock” over cannabis policy.

“This is a victory for medical cannabis patients across the nation, who rely on cannabis to treat serious illnesses. The federal government now admits that cannabis is not a gateway drug, and doesn’t cause long-term brain damage, or psychosis,” Sherer said in a statement. “While the fight to end stigma around cannabis is far from over, this is a big first step.”

According to a press release, the federal government is already a week past the required deadline to respond to the legal petition over claims that the DEA is still actively spreading false information about cannabis.

Americans for Safe Access has also sent a letter to the DEA urging them to “correct its inaccurate statements” regarding cannabis in light of the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who they claim “has made several statements demonstrating his beliefs that cannabis is a gateway drug and that its psychological effects are permanent.”

“As the top law enforcement official in the nation, Mr. Sessions must have access to accurate information based on current scientific data in order to make informed decisions regarding the enforcement (or non-enforcement) of federal drug laws,” the letter states. “Allowing Mr. Sessions to make law enforcement decisions based on biased, out-of-date information does a tremendous disservice to ASA’s members and the American people at large.”

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