norml23 - Page 50
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the DEA argued that referral of the NORML petition to HEW was
unnecessary because DEA had received a letter from HEW's Acting
Assistant Secretary for Health, which stated that there were no
currently acceptable medical uses for marijuana, and that no New Drug
Applications had been processed. In concluding th;t this letter did not
satisfy the rescheduJing procedures contained in Section 201, the Court
"The one-page Ietter makes conclusory statements
without providing a basis for or explanation of its
findings, it is unctear what Dr. Cooper means when he
writes that marijuana has no currengy acceptable
medical use. As a legal conclusion his statement cannot
be doubted: Placement in Schedule _ creates a self-
fuJfilling prophecy, Tro at 1 70, because the drug can be
used only for research purposes, Tr. at 488, and there-
fore is barred from general medical use. But if Dr.
Cooper's statement is meant to reflect a scientific
judgment as to the medicinal potentiai of marijuana,
then the basis for his evaJuation should be elaborated.
Recent studies have yielded findings to the contrary:
HEW's Fifth Annuat Report to the U.S. Congress, Mari-
juana and Health (19I 5), devotes a chapter to the
therapeutic aspects of marijuana, discovered through
medicaJ research. Jd. ch.9, at 117-127. PossibJe uses
of marijuana include treatment of glaucoma, asthma, and
epilepsy, and provision of "needed relief for cancer
patients undergoing chemotherapy." Id. at 117. These
promising findings were discussed by Dr. Fort in his
testimony before ALJ Parker. Tro at 163-165, 169-170.
Only a formal referram and hearing will allow due weight
to be given to such findings. Accordingly, recognizing
that it is our obligation as a court to ensure that the
agency acts within statutory bounds, we ho6d that Dr.
Cooper's letter was not an adequate substitute for the
procedures enumerated in Section 201 (a)-(c)o The case
must be remanded for further proceedings consistent with
those statutorY requirements. (Footnotes omitted).
Id. at 749-50.
Dr. Cooper's letter, which is set out verbatim in the Court's
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