Using the Law to (Gasp!) Protect Liberty

Just in from Catallarchy's new (very small and extremely underworked) Department of Good Uses of State Law:

Medical marijuana advocates have sued the federal Department of Health and Human Services, accusing it of lying to the nation about the drug's lack of accepted medical use despite scientific studies showing its efficacy.

The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Oakland, comes a week after the release of a controlled, clinical University of California, San Francisco study showing HIV patients who smoked marijuana found relief from chronic foot pain.

"We are asking the courts to weigh in on the science ... and force the government to stop making false statements about medical cannabis," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access.


ASA in October 2004 had petitioned the Department of Health and Human Services and its subordinate Food and Drug Administration under the Data Quality Act, a 2000 law requiring information circulated by federal agencies to be fair, objective and meet certain quality guidelines. That law lets citizens challenge government information believed to be inaccurate or based on bad data; ASA's petition claimed the government has ignored scientific studies and medical consensus on marijuana's efficacy as medicine.

Ain't it fun getting to use obscure laws to poke holes in other laws?

Incidentally, this will be the last post from the Department of Good Uses of State Law for a while. Its only member is on his way to Conway, SC for the South Carolina Philosophical Society's annual meeting. He will be accompanying his girlfriend, Missy, a student at Winthrop University, who will be delivering a paper entitled, "Justice and the Hypothetical Imperative." As this is Missy's first ever conference paper, he will be tagging along for moral support.

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