Civil Procedure

Suit Targets DEA Pot Claims


A San Francisco federal judge will consider whether an advocacy group has standing to sue the government for spreading misinformation about marijuana.

Americans for Safe Access claims a little-used law, the Information Quality Act, requires the Drug Enforcement Administration to refute its earlier claims about the drug, including its assertion that it has no currently accepted medical use, the Recorder reports.

The law says federal agencies should maximize the “quality, objectivity, utility and integrity” of information they disseminate and provides an administrative process for citizens seeking compliance. The advocacy group’s administrative challenge has not been successful.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup will hear the government’s motion to dismiss the case on standing grounds today.

Thomas Burke, a San Francisco lawyer who has filed suit to force the government to release records about no-fly lists, says a win for the group could spur other activists to launch similar suits.

“The use of the statute would be very important to watch, given all of the headline-grabbing claims that the Bush administration has essentially used politics to trump science,” he told the legal newspaper.

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