Black People : The Passing of Dr Cannabis

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, May 24, 2007.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Life of Dr. Tod Mikuriya: Doctor of Last Resort​
    When the Medical Marijuana Patients Union held a symposium in Fort Bragg in August, 2004, Sheriff Tony Craver asked an organizer to please introduce him to Dr. Tod Mikuriya. It turned out that Mikuriya had left after participating in a morning panel. "That's one man I've always wanted to meet," said Craver, looking down in disappointment. 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 conferring legitimacy on people previously considered criminals.
    Mikuriya died Sunday at his home in the Berkeley Hills. He was 73. The cause was complications of cancer. In the final days he'd been in the care of his sisters, Beverly, an MD from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Mary Jane of San Francisco, and his longtime assistant, John Trapp. Cancer had been diagnosed originally in his lungs, and as of last March it had been detected in his liver, too. Dennis Peron and Dale Gieringer threw farewell parties for him. He canceled a trip to Hungary where he was to present a paper at the International Cannabinoid Research Society meeting. His office began steering patients to other doctors.
    And then his condition improved. In late May 2006 Mikuriya attended his 50th reunion at Reed College and sang rounds with his old madrigal group. His office geared up again. He wrote the lead section of an article recounting what California doctors had learned in the 10 years since the passage of Prop 215 ("Medical Marijuana in California, 1996-2006," O'Shaughnessy's, Winter/Spring 2007). He met with a publisher about reissuing "Marijuana Medical Papers," his 1973 anthology of pre-prohibition medical literature -the new edition to include a CD containing eight more articles that had come to his attention over the years. He had many visits from his 12-year-old daughter, Hero, the apple of his eye; they even went cross-country skiing one weekend.
    As recently as this March Mikuriya played a key role organizing a symposium at which retired colonel James Ketchum, MD, discussed the Army's secret search for a cannabinoid-based incapacitating agent. Mikuriya had begun assembling the contents for a new anthology, "Cannabis Clinical Papers," that would include studies by colleagues and three major papers of his own: "Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol;" "Cannabis as a First-Line Treatment for Mental Disorders;" and "Cannabis Eases Post-Traumatic Stress." (The titles alone reflect the relevance of Mikuriya's concerns. Even his historical studies related to our present time and place. For example: "An 1873 survey by British tax officials in India elicited a range of views on cannabis that seems strikingly contemporary... 'the general opinion seems to be that the evil effects of ganja have been exaggerated.'")
    Mikuriya liked to use the slogans "Grandfather it in!" and "Back to the future!" in discussing the legalization of cannabis for medical use. The generations of Americans who discovered cannabis in social settings in the 1960s and the decades that followed had no idea that it had been widely used in this country between the Civil War and the Great Depression, with tinctures manufactured by Eli Lilly, Parke, Davis and other major pharmaceutical companies available by prescription. For decades Mikuriya was the only MD among the small group of activists and scholars who collected the bottles and labels and sought to unearth and publicize the history that our educational system had erased so systematically...
    "Western medicine has forgotten almost all it once knew about the therapeutic properties of marijuana," Mikuriya lamented to a UCSF medical student interviewing him in 1996. (I had the privilege of sitting in.) "Hemp-based tinctures and preparations were prescribed for myriad purposes-analgesic and hypnotic; appetite stimulant; anti-epileptic and antispasmodic; for the prevention and treatment of the neuralgias, including migraine and tic doloreux; antidepressant and tranquilizer; oxytocic (to induce uterine contractions); topical anesthetic; withdrawal agent for opiate, chloral and alcohol addiction; intraocular hypotensive; childbirth analgesic; hypothermogenic." Cannabis is also an anti-asthmatic and antitussive (cough suppressant), Mikuriya told the med student. It went out of favor with doctors in the early decades of the 20th century "not because it was deemed toxic or dangerous but because alternatives came on the market -injectable opiates and synthetics such as aspirin and barbiturates- that were quicker-acting and offered more consistency in dosage and patient response."
    The rest: http://www.counterpunch.org/gardner05242007.html
     
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