Memo to Congress: DEA Dumped the “Gateway-Theory” Due To Science

Americans for Safe Access Urges Members of Congress to Stop Using False Information About Marijuana

Washington, DC — Today, Americans for Safe Access, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring safe and legal access to medical cannabis for therapeutic use and research, sent a memo to Congress informing members that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has removed false information about cannabis from its website after months of public pressure. The memo explains;

Forty-four states now allow patients under their physician's care to use medical cannabis (marijuana) in some form, and the majority of the rest of the states are discussing medical cannabis in their current legislative sessions. In addition, three cannabis related budget amendments and four bills have been introduced so far in the 115th Congress.

We know that you rely on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide current and accurate information when you are making decisions about cannabis policy. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has prepared this memo to inform you about four important changes in the DEA’s positions on medical cannabis that could have an impact on your policy making decisions this session.

View the memo here:

The change comes after Americans for Safe Access filed a legal request with the Department of Justice last year demanding that the DEA immediately update and remove factually inaccurate information about cannabis from their website and materials. The group argued that the document formerly known as “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” contained several inaccurate claims about cannabis and was in violation of the Information Quality Act (IQA, aka Data Quality Act), which requires that administrative agencies to provide accurate information to the public and that they respond to requests for correction of information within 60 days.

“We know that members of Congress rely on the DEA to provide current and accurate information when enacting drug policies, and cannabis is no different,” said Beth Collins, Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs at Americans for Safe Access. “More specifically, we prepared this document to help inform Congress about four important changes in the DEA’s positions on medical cannabis that could have an impact on their policy making decisions this session: cannabis is not a “gateway drug” and it does not cause cognitive decline, psychosis or lung cancer.”

“While we are still waiting for the final response from the DEA regarding their plans to update or remove the remaining misinformation on their website, we know that legislators are being asked to make decisions on cannabis policy now. It is our hope that this document will provide a better understanding of the status of science on these important matters,” added Collins.