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Tod H. Mikuriya - a Cannabis visionary. RIP

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Tod Hiro Mikuriya (September 20, 1933 – May 20, 2007) was a psychiatrist and an advocate for the legalization of the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Born in Pennsylvania, he was the director of non-classified marijuana research for the National Institute of Mental Health Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies. His 1972 self-published book, Marijuana Medical Papers 1839-1972 became a landmark in the modern movement for the legalization of Medical marijuana. Collected from the reference section at the National Library of Medicine it was saved from complete oblivion. Much to the irritation of cannabis prohibitionists, this medical intelligence has been restored for possible alternative medical applications.

Until his death in May of 2007, he continued in private psychiatric practice limited to cannabis clinical consultation. He approved marijuana for medical purposes in over nine thousand patients, not solely in terminal cases, but also alleviation of physical and emotional pain in non-terminal cases. The legal situation is extremely complex–see Medical marijuana. His practices are controversial and have drawn him into conflict with authorities. He was on 5 years probation with the Medical Board of California resulting from prosecutorial manipulation and conspiracy with local, state, and federal law enforcement vendetta starting in 2000. No patients were harmed. There were no complaints from patients, families or community physicians. Only law enforcement in eleven rural northern California counties responded to solicitation by Medical Board investigators and officials in the California Attorney General's office.

In a 1998 interview, Mikuriya (whose father was a Japanese Civil Engineer and a converted Christian and whose mother was born in Germany and was a practicing Bahá'í), made a connection between his family background and his views.

Growing up in the Quaker community of Fallsington, Pennsylvania and attending Quaker schools (George School, Haverford College) it was the compromise chosen by his parents that the three Mikuriya children were raised as Quakers. "The Quakers were proprietors of the Underground Railway, I'm proud to say. The cannabis prohibition has the same dynamics as the bigotry and racism my family and I experienced starting on December 7, 1941, when we were transformed from normal-but-different people into war-criminal surrogates."

Mikuriya wrote the lyrics for several songs used in the campaign for the 1996 Medical Marijuana Initiative in California known as Proposition 215. One criticized what Mikuriya saw as the hypocrisy of then-President Clinton:

Our pudgy White House waffler
Who never did inhale
The deaf and blinded congress
Wants to put us all in jail
And it don't look like they're ever going to cease their panderin'
So keep on with the struggle
For compassion, love, and trust.
California needs drug laws
That protect, and are just
But it looks like they're never gonna cease their panderin'.

Dr. Mikuriya died at his home in Berkeley, California on May 20, 2007, aged 73, after a long battle with cancer.
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