ASA Change.org Petition to Get the DEA to Tell the Truth Reaches 100K Signatures
January 18, 2017 | Elizabeth Collins
On Tuesday, Americans for Safe Access delivered more than 98,000 signatures for our Change.org petition to get the DEA to tell the truth about medical cannabis. Today, the number of signers eclipsed 100,000, reaching ASA's goal before President Obama leaves office. ASA is trying to get Obama to instruct the DEA to grant our Information Quality Act petition and remove all references to the "gateway theory" and other scientifically disproven harms from its websites and publications.
Americans for Safe Access’ complaint cites 25 violations under the IQA, alleging that the DEA website currently contains inaccurate statements that do not meet informational standards required by the law. Making matters worse, the DEA continues to distribute statements about the efficacy of medical cannabis and its risks, which have been refuted by the DEA itself in the recent “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings to Reschedule Marijuana,” issued August 12, 2016.
One reason why ASA is seeking the correction is because the DEA is an enormously influential organization, particularly for Members of Congress who determine federal medical cannabis laws. For example, this past April, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) rehashed several statements about the "gateway theory" at a Senate Drug Caucus hearing. With Sessions likely to become the next Attorney General, compelling the DEA to correct its misinformation about medical cannabis is more important than ever.
ASA decided to deliver the petitions yesterday to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, despite being fewer than 2,000 signatures away from the 100,000 mark because much of downtown Washington, D.C. has been shut down as of today to prepare for the inauguration of President-Elect Trump. With the clock ticking, President Obama is running out of time to put science in the lead of determining our federal medical cannabis laws. If Obama decides to ignore the request and remain on the wrong side of science and history, ASA will redirect efforts to Trump once he is sworn into office.
ASA would like to thank its members and everyone else who signed the petition, as well as Change.org. Getting 100,000 signatures on a petition is no small task, and it would not have possible without the efforts of Change and medical cannabis patient advocates like you. While the effort to harmonize state and federal medical cannabis laws will continue even if President Obama grants the petition request, it will be more difficult for medical cannabis opponents to cling to scientifically untrue views on the topic. Obama only has 2 more days to respond to our request! So, ASA is still collecting signatures for the petition to keep boosting the numbers, we are asking everyone to call the white house @202-456-1111 and say “We want to make sure President Obama received our petition to instruct the DEA to correct the misinformation about medical cannabis before he leaves office.” or email the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) @ ONDCP-OIPL@ondcp.eop.gov Subject line: Please Make DEA Tell The Truth “Did you send the petition I signed about the DEA correcting misinformation about medical cannabis to President Obama? It is important that you do this today!"
Additionally, you can lobby your Members of Congress directly by joining ASA's 2017 Medical Cannabis Unity Conference in Washington, DC, April 7-11, 2017.