Nov 18, 2009 8:16 PM

Article By Matt Kelley

It’s been a week since the American Medical Association reversed its long-held and counterproductive position on medicinal marijuana, but the DEA still included the AMA’s hard line on its website until this evening.
The advocacy group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition — and online activists — didn’t allow the misinformation to last. The group called on members to email the Department of Justice, and now the bullet point is gone.
While I think the problem was more likely an oversight than an attempt on the part of a government agency to lie to its citizens, LEAP should be congratulated for seeing the error and getting it fixed. The government is aware that advocates for sensible drug policies are watching closely and won’t stand for misinformation. It does feel like the tables have been turned, and this victory is a sign of more to come. Kudos to LEAP for mobilizing quickly and bringing about this change.
And while we’re looking at that hideous DEA site, maybe we should urge the Justice Department to get around to redesigning the DEA website to look all Baracky like the main DOJ site.
LEAP is also right to focus attention on the AMA decision, because it could be a tipping point on medicinal marijuana — and another nail in the coffin of prohibition.
The AMA move is exciting because it could move us closer to reclassifying pot as something other than a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This would open the door to more marijuana research. Maybe researchers seeking to conduct studies of marijuana’s effects could get it from more than one source.
Reclassification is a step on the path to legalization, and the AMA was a roadblock. New studies will now show what many already know: the drug is virtually harmless for moderate, responsible users (especially when vaporized). Things are changing, and it’s good to see online activists ready to keep pressure on the government to reconsider decades of failed drug policy.

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