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June 04, 2007

Tod Mikuriya MD RIP
It’s literally impossible to overstate Tod Mikuriya’s importance to the disorderly and largely ineffective movement working to legitimize the medical use of cannabis in California (and thus the nation). The largely unwitting ‘movement’ is deeply indebted to him for both the key any other illness phrase, which was all that allowed California's Proposition 215 to became the only such measure of any clinical relevance; it was also Tod’s dogged certification of the thousands of pot smokers in Northern California who applied for recognition as ‘patients’ and the (disputed) right to possess cannabis during  initiative’s first five years.  

The reason is simple: all Proposition 215 could allow was, at best, a disputed gray market; one that would have been quickly harassed out of existence by a statewide unconvened conspiracy of local police, sheriffs, and district attorneys.  Instead, a small distribution network of ‘buyers clubs’ was enabled by the work of Tod and the few other ‘pot docs’ willing to write the ‘recommendations’ required by any clubs' potential customers. Tod was not only the pot docs' leader and inspiration, he was the only one willing to travel around the state holding clinics and writing the thousands of recommendations that would fan the hostility of law enforcement and finally coerce the Medical Board into disgracefully abusing their authority to punish him.

If the importance of one’s life is measured by the number and publishers of obituary notices provoked by one’s death, Tod was quite successful; if as is usually the case, reality differs, I would suggest that Fred Gardner's columns in Counterpunch are the best way to grasp what Tod did: his description of the ordeal Tod endured at the hands of the state’s faceless medical bureaucracy is a good start; then read Fred's obituary, ‘Doctor of Last Resort.’

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 4, 2007 04:55 PM