In Memoriam: Tod Mikuriya

  In Memoriam: Tod Mikuriya

Posted by CN Staff on May 21, 2007 at 20:55:13 PT
By David F. Duncan, DrPH, FAAHB 
Source: National Association of Public Health  

USA -- Pioneering researcher on marijuana and cannabis therapeutics dies at 73.Tod Hiro Mikuriya, MD, prominent psychiatrist and advocate for the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, has died at the age of 73. After earning his medical degree at Temple University he completed a psychiatric residency at San Francisco's Southern Pacific General Hospital. This was followed by service in the US Army Medical Corps and at state hospitals in California and Oregon. 
He was Director of the Drug Addiction Treatment Center of the New Jersey NeuroPschiatric Institute. In the 1960's he directed marijuana research for the National Institute of Mental Health's Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies (predecessor of today's National Institute on Drug Abuse) but when the research failed to support the government's view of marijuana as a dangerous drug, he believed the evidence instead of the politicians. That ended his career with the federal government.In the subsequent years, he practiced psychiatry in California. Following passage of the California Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) in 1996, Dr. Mikuriya served as Medical Coordinator of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, the Hayward Hempery, and the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club - organizations established to provide access to medical marijuana for patients. In 2000 he founded the California Cannabis Research Medical Group -- -- a non-profit organization "dedicated to conducting quality medical marijuana research, to ensuring the safety and confidentiality of all research subjects, and to maintaining the highest quality of standards and risk management".He described the roots of his activism in the ironic statement that, "I had the good fortune to have a Japanese father and a German mother in a small Pennsylvania town during the Depression and World War II," As a consequence of this background, "my sister and I were chased, shot at, beaten up, spat upon, called names. The local kids chased us like a pack of dogs. I realized that people could be brainwashed and trained to hate. The same thing has been done with marijuana and marijuana users. I've learned to fight back."He fought the good fight against bad laws and their abusive enforcement for many years and at high personal cost. His passing will be mourned by the many he helped and by those who seek to see drug policy based on realities instead of propoaganda.A collection of some of his writings on drug policy can be found online at the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. National Association of Public Health (US Web)Author: David F. Duncan, DrPH, FAAHBPublished: May 21, 2007Website: http://www.naphp.orgTod Mikuriya M.D. Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 23, 2007 at 10:55:08 PT
Passing of a Medi-Pot Pioneer ­ 
Passing of a Medi-Pot Pioneer ­ Dr. Tod Hiro MikuriyaBy Paul Armentano
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 23, 2007 at 09:53:28 PT
Beautiful beyond belief and comprehension.
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on May 23, 2007 at 09:47:31 PT
And Was
And Ever Will Be.The Beginning and The End and All That Is...and ever was and ever will be. A circle, a loop, a spiralish, totally wild, totally untamable, passionate, quick, and still thing ....of Infinity of Light that was and is The I Am That I Am. (To me ...yeah...that one that made himself...I Am.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on May 23, 2007 at 09:43:32 PT
What I like to think.
What I like to believe. The Earth, herself,has taken back the vessel. What the vessel held has crossed that river...joined that Light. Joyfully. Free. Living forever...and the Light, in the Light...The All That Is.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 23, 2007 at 08:42:52 PT
Comment 17
Haven't finished reading this article...but I loved this."The sheriff knew there was something unique about Mikuriya, and so did half the cops and prosecutors in California, who, unlike Tony Craver, fiercely resented him for legitimizing people previously considered criminals.""...legitimizing people previously considered criminals."I love that. It's so truly, deeply beautiful.
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on May 23, 2007 at 06:21:56 PT
Sister named Mary Jane?
Did Dr. Tod Mikuriya have a sister named Mary Jane? CA: The Doctor of Last Resort
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Comment #16 posted by afterburner on May 22, 2007 at 20:41:06 PT
Hiro Is a Hero
Dr. Tod Hiro Mikuriya: I never met the man in the flesh, but I admired his writing, his compassion, his intelligence and his courage. His views and actions have inspired many activists. Here are some recent brainchildren of Dr. Tod's great work:US HI: Column: Racism and Sleazy Business Practices - A Fine Start to U.S. Drug War
(Sun, 20 May 2007) 
Honolulu Star-Bulletin US AL: PUB LTE: Wrong Priorities
(Fri, 18 May 2007)
Times Daily (Florence, AL)US WA: Column: Rescuing Drug War's Prisoners
(Thu, 17 May 2007)
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on May 22, 2007 at 18:48:32 PT
All of those who actually met him 
and knew him were obviously blessed by knowing him. 
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on May 22, 2007 at 18:46:03 PT
Dr. Mikuriya
He did so much good and stuck his neck out for people when no one else would. He stood up for what was right even when it wasn't the "popular" thing to do. He did a lot of good. He did a lot of good for a lot of people and it didn't make things easy for him...but he did the right thing anyway. That's so admirable.I appreciated him a lot. I'm really sad about his passing.
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Comment #13 posted by charmed quark on May 22, 2007 at 18:29:24 PT
It was amazing to sit at his kitchen table after my medical appointment with him high in the Berkeley hills and discuss such a wide range of subjects. Marijuana, the electronic control circuits needed for vaporization, music and musical instruments, Quakers, growing up half Japanese in Pennsylvania, the best ways to live with my medical condition.I've never had a doctor's appointment like that before or since.Sigh. Life would be marvelous with more doctors like him.
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Comment #12 posted by Sam Adams on May 22, 2007 at 18:24:07 PT
DR. Tod
He ran from the bullies when he was a kid, but he confronted the other doctors and government bullies head-on as an adult. What a hero, I'm sorry he was so sick himself. Definitely someone I will always think of as an example of a true hero.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 22, 2007 at 12:27:37 PT
Dr. Tod
I only knew about him but didn't have the pleasure of meeting him. I appreciate the heart felt comments. RIP Dr. Tod.
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Comment #10 posted by konagold on May 22, 2007 at 12:18:40 PT:
Dr. Tod
AlohaI consider it a blessing of my life to have had Dr. Tod's acquaintance. I met him in 1998 in Berkley at his home where he was the first Dr. to recommend Cannabis for my illnesses.He came to Maui this past March and he gave expert testimony for Rev. Jim Kimmel on trial for possession of 2 poundsContrasted with the prosecutions expert witness a biased and poorly prepared Pharmacist from Longs Drug store, Dr. Tod was riveting, wise, honest, and profoundly deep. He held the judges attention, who spent the entirety of his hearing of this testimony, either making notes, or deeply gazing into Dr. Tod’s eyes.I have been praying for him since he told us the night before his testimony that his cancer had spreadWe should all celebrate that this great human being has gone to a reward which passes all of our understandingGod bless you Tod have a happy foreverAlohaRev. Dennis Shields
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Comment #9 posted by museman on May 22, 2007 at 09:07:02 PT

herb warriors
Though I have been in the woods on some of this, I regret the passing of someone such as this. I extend my honors and give my respects. It is good to hear from you herbdoc, I've been wondering what happened. Glad you are safe.Though I don't believe in 'heaven' I believe in eternity, and that in that eternity there exists no swag, only the best. On the day that we all wake up in a new existence (I believe in that too) we will all meet to share the incense of YHWH in remembrance of lives and adventures lived, and in celebration of the endless days to come.Until that day, peace to the warriors of truth, those who sleep, and those who are still awake.
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Comment #8 posted by The GCW on May 22, 2007 at 08:26:43 PT

LTE / VeloNews / Berkeley Patients Group
Velo News Vol. 36/ No.9 May 28, 2007Letters to the Editor, Page 20(EDITED by VeloNews)E CANNABIS UNUMAs a VeloNews subscriber, a Christian, cannabis activist and parent who’s had to confront cancer, the Berkeley Patients Group-Montano Velo team (“Smokin’ Fast,” May 14) was the most interesting story I’ve read lately.Sadly, since statistics indicate one out of four Americans will confront cancer, nearly every cyclist’s family will deal with this disease too. Cannabis or marijuana helps patients fight the effects of cancer, along with many other ailments.I wish The Berkeley Patients Group-Montano Velo team and the BPG patients much success.S. W. 
Dillon, CO-0-Referred:From the story at VeloNews, I posted at: #15.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 22, 2007 at 07:23:50 PT

Sound of Silence
I don't want to get anyone in trouble so I found a song that says that I understand.People talking without speaking.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 22, 2007 at 07:08:49 PT

Many cyber hugs and a kiss on both cheeks!
"yall will have to put up with me again!"You're ok! I'm so relieved.
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Comment #5 posted by Dr Ganj on May 21, 2007 at 23:21:25 PT

Dr. Tod
Back in November of 1996, I was in jail for growing pretty green plants when Prop 215 passed. It was a truly satisfying moment, as I knew I had been right all along.
Many months later, on the the night I was released, I told the jailer I had a film container (hidden at home) filled with seeds, and I was determined to grow the finest marijuana known to man.
Although I was still on formal probation for three more years, I knew I must move to Oakland to fulfill my dream.
It was there, where I met up with Jeff Jones, Rob Raich, Debbie Goldsberry, Dr. Frank Lucido, Angel McClary, and Dr. Tod Mikuriya. 
They all were the trailblazers at the time, going forward at full speed not knowing if the government would win, or if the will of the California voters would.
We all went to countless meetings in Oakland, and Berkeley trying to piece together a viable framework in which we all could see the landmark Compassionate Use Act be implemented. 
Our vision at the time, I remember, was to have so many cannabis clubs that it would force federal policy to acquiesce to the will of the people.
After a decade of legal battles, and defiance, our dream is oh so near.
However, back in 1998 it wasn't so clear on what was to happen with this progressive new law.
It was then when I called Dr. Mikuriya for advice. My wife and I had just opened a new cannabis club in Oakland called Herbal Therapy Center. Our hope was to serve ill Californians with organic marijuana.
I made an appointment to see Dr. Tod, and on a clear Tuesday morning in 1998, we drove up to his house in the Berkeley hills.
I remember sitting at his kitchen table discussing Prop 215, the unique characteristics of this special plant, and one thing very important: How THC is an oil, and how it can't be made into a hydrochloride salt, or a sulphate salt like most drugs can.
As we discussed the chemistry of THC, and its analogs, he presented me with a vile of honey oil and a soldering gun. He demonstrated the art of vaporization, and continued with a brilliant lecture on how the harmful inhalation of particulates will be the thing of the past.
His encyclopedic knowledge of marijuana was unparalleled, and his quest to share the truth with all, is also unequaled.
He was a pioneer, a visionary, and most of all, truly compassionate toward fellow man.
I will miss him greatly, but I will continue to teach what he taught me, knowing he was right all along.Thank you Dr. Mikuriya
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on May 21, 2007 at 22:26:58 PT

Hi Steve! We would not be where we are today if it
wasn't for Tod Mikuriya! He was a great, great man who inspired me and many others, I'm sure. He taught us how to fight! Now we have to carry on without him. Tod was an eloquent and humorous cannabis activist and an experienced doctor no less. Tod you are sorely missed.
Tod Mikuriya
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Comment #3 posted by herbdoc215 on May 21, 2007 at 22:05:51 PT

FoM, thanks....I'm doing as well as can be
and by ban I mean plea order to get misd., I had to agree to two years of no net postings, wave stirrings,etc...which I've pretty much followed but it's about over so I'm excited. In four months I'll come straight here and post whole story and bring everybody up to speed, but it looks like all my stuff was just bs out of Canada to steal my gold mine...time is fixing to tell? I am now back living in HumCo now and safe, I'm looking at my plans for round two...just laying low for now is all! Keep up the good work and know I read here every day!
peace, steve
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 21, 2007 at 21:38:45 PT

It's really good to see you. I don't know what you mean by a ban but please be careful.Dr. Tod doesn't hurt anymore. I'm sure he will Rest in Peace.
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Comment #1 posted by herbdoc215 on May 21, 2007 at 21:28:11 PT

Very few here will ever realize 
The collective debt we ALL owe this man...this Great man. Myself, and all those whom have stood upon his shoulders will never forget this man nor the many things he taught us, and his work lives in many of us! Fighting the good fight is about all some of us have left, and Tod did it with a grace few of us will ever show...Tod, tonight I'll burn a few in your memory. Four more months left in my ban from net and yall will have to put up with me again! I'd be proud to go to jail for praising Tod though, so if the big bad gov't wants me, I'll even sign my name as Tod deserves no less~! Sleep well and rest my friend, in the end we'll all fire one up together in heaven!
Peace, Steve Tuck
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