Americans for Safe Access, a coalition of patients and doctors who support easing access to marijuana for research and medical use, has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) calling for lifting restrictions on the drug, the Washington Post reported Oct. 4.

The Berkeley, Calif.-based group charged the HHS with spreading inaccurate information about the medicinal value of marijuana. The petition invokes the Data Quality Act, a law passed in 2000 that gives people the right to challenge scientific information disseminated by federal agencies. Under the law, HHS has two months to respond to the petition.

"The government's position on medical marijuana is out of touch with public opinion, but most important it's out of touch with the science," said William Dolphin, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access. "It's time the federal government gets out of the way and lets doctors make decisions for their patients."

The petition seeks a correction of the government's "scientifically flawed statements" about marijuana published in the Federal Register. The change would also allow the Drug Enforcement Administration to declare marijuana a Schedule II drug that could be prescribed for certain conditions and obtained more easily for research.