Citing “overwhelming” evidence that marijuana eases pain and anxiety for the chronically ill, medicinal pot advocates told a federal appeals panel in San Francisco this week that the federal government should be stopped from spreading “false information” about marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports. Like in the debate over whether stem cell research should be resumed, Americans for Safe Access cast the Bush administration’s opposition to any legalized use of marijuana as being shaped by conservative sentiments instead of hard facts.
President Obama has signaled that science should be guiding government judgments in controversial matters of medicine and technology, not the prevailing political mood. On Tuesday, a federal lawyer told three judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the administration wasn’t required to explain or retract its statements that marijuana “has no currently accepted medical use.” Marijuana is banned under federal law but is legal for cancer patients and others suffering chronic illnesses in California and a dozen other states. Safe Access sued the federal government under a law that prohibits it from disseminating inaccurate information. “The science to support medical marijuana is overwhelming. It’s time for the federal government to acknowledge the efficacy of medical marijuana and stop holding science hostage to politics,” said Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access.