Data Quality Act Complaint Filed Against Drug Czar
October 17, 2008
MPP Charges White House Office with Distributing False Information; Charge Is Latest of Many Controversies Surrounding ONDCP
(Washington, D.C.) The Marijuana Policy Project has filed a formal request for correction of erroneous information distributed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, pursuant to the law commonly referred to as the Data Quality Act. The petition seeks correction of false information contained in ONDCP’s 2008 Marijuana Sourcebook, released in July.
The petition, filed late Thursday afternoon pursuant to Pub. L. 106-554, amending Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501 et seq., focuses on the Sourcebook’s title, “Marijuana: The Greatest Cause of Illegal Drug Abuse,” a claim that is not supported by scientific data, including the data in the Sourcebook — and is actually contradicted by some of its contents, as well as by other ONDCP materials.
“The claim that marijuana is ‘the greatest cause of illegal drug abuse’ is blatantly false,” said Aaron Houston, MPP’s director of government relations. “Marijuana is widely used, but any claim that it actually causes drug abuse — much less that it’s the greatest cause — rests on the so-called ‘gateway theory,’ which has been debunked so often it’s hard to believe drug czar John Walters can still mention it with a straight face.”
MPP’s complaint notes that guidelines adopted by the Office of Management and Budget and ONDCP pursuant to the Data Quality Act require that information disseminated must be “accurate, reliable and unbiased” and presented in an “accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner” — tests the Sourcebook clearly fails.
Walters has been the subject of multiple controversies in recent days. A report released this week by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform found that Walters attended 19 events suggested by Karl Rove’s office in order to help Republican candidates, in apparent violation of the ban on use of public funds for partisan activities. And a study published online Thursday by the American Journal of Public Health found that ONDCP’s anti-marijuana campaign had failed to change teen attitudes about marijuana despite expenditures of hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
For a copy of the full complaint, contact Dan Bernath at 202-462-5747 ext. 2030 or DBernath (at) mpp.org.
With more than 25,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.
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