Americans for Safe Access has filed a federal lawsuit appealing the rejection of its Data Quality Act petition asking the Department of Health and Human Services to correct its misstatements about the medical utility of cannabis. Those misstatements are crucial to marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug, which signifies that it has no accepted medical use and cannot be used safely even under medical supervision. ASA's innovative use of the Data Quality Act, which is supposed to assure the accuracy of scientific information disseminated by the government, is another example of how leftish drug policy activists are seeing the value in legal tools traditionally associated with the right. Until ASA's petition, I suspect, most drug policy reformers who were aware of the law would have viewed it as a weapon used by big business to attack perfectly legitimate regulations. Likewise, they probably considered federalism and its companion, a narrowly read Commerce Clause, unsavory until they needed them to defend state medical marijuna laws. The latter strategy did not work out so well, since even conservatives don't believe in federalism anymore. I hope the Data Quality Act gambit is more successful.
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