Tod H. Mikuriya
Tod Hiro Mikuriya (20 September 1933 – 20 May 2007) was a psychiatrist, and author of books such as Marijuana Medical Papers: 1839 - 1972. He is known as an outspoken advocate for the legalization and use of cannabis for medical purposes. He is regarded by some as the grandfather of the medical cannabis movement in the United States, most especially California.
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 in 1967. 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 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 Legal history of marijuana in the United States). His practices are controversial and have drawn him into conflict with authorities. He was on five 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 7 December 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.
He ran in the 1980 United States House of Representatives elections, as a member of the Libertarian Party, against incumbent [(Ron Dellums)], a Democrat, and Republican Charles V. Hughes for California's 8th congressional district seat. He lost, with 10,465 votes, to Dellums' 108,380 and Hughes' 76,580.
Mikuriya died at his home in Berkeley, California on 20 May 2007, aged 73, after a long battle with cancer.