ADVISORY: NATIONWIDE PROTESTS DEMAND HHS RECOGNIZE THE MEDICAL VALUE OF MARIJUANA
October 24, 2005
Contact: Hilary McQuie 510.251.1856
NATIONWIDE -- In the continued push to resolve the state-federal conflict over medical marijuana laws, patients and advocates will rally at regional outposts of federal Health and Human Services. The events will occur simultaneously in seven cities nationwide to demand that science and public health prevail when HHS makes its decision on petition requests to reschedule marijuana. Currently, ten states have laws permitting patients to legally use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, but these laws are at odds with the federal prohibition that categorizes marijuana as more dangerous than cocaine or amphetamines.
Americans for Safe Access, the national medical marijuana advocacy group responsible for the protests, is one 2002 petitioner to HHS to reclassify marijuana. The group also launched a legal challenge to HHS in 2004 to correct published medical marijuana misinformation under the Data Quality Act (DQA), a little-known law that requires federal agencies to rely on sound science. According to group spokespeople, responses by HHS to both petitions are long overdue.
WHAT: Rally To Reclassify Marijuana
WHERE: Health and Human Services (HHS) offices in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco & Seattle. (For addresses, see http://safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=2564)
WHEN: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 12 Noon
WHO: Members of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest national grassroots coalition working to protect the rights of patients and doctors to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.
WHY: Patients, medical professionals and advocates are calling on HHS to listen to scientific research and admit marijuana has medical use. If the patient-advocacy group prevails in its DQA petition, the Department of Health and Human Services will have to change its tune on medical marijuana and publicly admit that marijuana is now routinely used for medical treatment, clearing the way for doctors to prescribe it to their patients. According to both petitions, public health must prevail when it comes to marijuana law, since established research, federal reports and patient experience all show marijuana works for pain, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, and spasticity, the severe muscle spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis, spinal injury and other conditions.