GAO Rejects U.S. Rep. Paul's complaint about ONDCP misinformation campaign
In 2003, MPP urged U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to file a complaint with the General Accounting Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, about inappropriate actions carried out by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). In an April 2, 2003 letter, Paul asked the GAO to investigate whether a letter about marijuana "facts" sent by ONDCP to the nation's prosecutors violated the ban on use of taxpayer funds for "publicity and propaganda" as well as the longstanding GAO position that "the government should not disseminate misleading information."
On March 10, 2004, the GAO finally responded to Rep. Paul's complaint. Unfortunately, the GAO declared, in essence, that the truth or falsity of ONDCP's statements is irrelevant. "ONDCP is specifically charged with the responsibility for 'taking such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use' of certain controlled substances such as marijuana," wrote GAO General Counsel Anthony Gamboa. "Given this role, we do not see a need to examine the accuracy of the Deputy Director's individual statements in detail."
MPP is outraged by this decision and will be pursuing legislative remedies to ensure that these government-sponsored lies about marijuana are prohibited.