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Blunt Talk About Marijuana
Jazz legend Louis Armstrong described marijuana as "an assistant and a friend." However, Winston is not writing about the recreational use of drugs. Instead, Winston is highlighting a Data Quality Act petition being filed with the Department of Health and Human Services concerning the medical use of marijuana.

An organization known as American for Safe Access (ASA) is filing the Data Quality Petition seeking correction of government statements that "marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." ASA describes itself as a "national medical-marijuana advocacy group."

To highlight their Data Quality petition, the ASA will be holding a press conference at the National Press Club on October 4th that is expected to include "representatives from a few of the dozens of professional health organizations that have endorsed changing federal rules on medical marijuana, including the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association." Notable scientists said to be supporting the ASA petition include the Chief of Neurology at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center of Andrews Air Force Base and the Chair of the biology department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

The press conference is apparently only one of a series of events to spotlight the filing of the Data Quality petition. Other planned events intended to focus attention on the petition include a rally at HHS at 10:00am, Tuesday, October 5th. According to ASA, busloads and carpools of patients and medical marijuana supporters are expected to arrive from Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Ohio to demonstrate their support of the Data Quality petition.

Winston is in no position to opine on whether or not the ASA Data Quality Petition has merit. However, as Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." In this case, Winston senses that major changes are blowing in the wind when it comes to the Data Quality Act. A law that was once seen primarily as tool for big business lobbyists is now being utilized by grassroots activists. Winston is pleased with the democratization of the Data Quality Act.

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