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August 13, 2009

O’Shaughnessy’s Now Online

One of the unsung heroes of the (still) relatively unknown drug policy reform movement is the late Tod Mikuriya MD, a psychiatrist of about my own vintage who once worked for the federal government at the NIMH shortly before the drug war began in earnest following Nixon’s election in 1968. Tod, already very much aware that cannabis is medicine, went on to devote his entire professional career to that cause before succumbing to bile duct cancer in May, 2007.

One of Mikuriya’s heroes was Dr. William B. O’Shaughnessy, an Irish physician and polymath who did the first clinical research on cannabis while in India and introduced its use to Western Medicine in 1839. O’Shaughnessy later returned to India where he made significant contributions to telegraphy and communication. He was Knighted by Queen Victoria in 1856.

Mikuriya was one of several authors of Proposition 215; his decisive contribution was the crucial, “any other condition” phrase that has made California’s pot initiative the nation’s most important because it has allowed so many to qualify as medical users. As California’s premier medical cannabis pioneer, Tod also pushed for publication of clinical results and, together with his friend Fred Gardner, helped found the California Cannabis Research Medical Group (CCRMG) and launch O'Shaughnessy's as its medical journal. First published in tabloid form, it was made available to patients through buyers’ clubs, dispensaries and doctors’ offices and later online. Always a shoestring operation, it has soaked up a lot of unpaid labor from its editor, unsung volunteers and contributors. The most recent edition, also the largest and most informative, has just been made available online in pdf format, meaning that activists around the world can see it in the same form its readers in California do.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at August 13, 2009 03:30 AM