Blogs > Liberty and Power > Medical Marijuana Pioneer Rest in Peace

May 31, 2007 11:03 pm

Medical Marijuana Pioneer Rest in Peace

Those patients suffering from AIDS, cancer needing chemo-therapy, MS, glaucoma and countless other maladies who find relief in the medical use of marijuana owe a great deal to Dr. Tod Mikuriya, a tireless advocate on their behalf. Sadly, the good doctor passed away from complications of cancer on May 20th. Fortunately for the world, Mikuriya left a rich legacy of valuable research into the medicinal properties of cannabis and he inspired numerous others to pursue knowledge about marijuana and health. Also, it should be noted that the courageous physician pursued this course, at some cost to himself, in the face of a government bent on denying people the medical benefits of cannabis. He will be missed.

However, Dr. Mikuriya will not be forgotten as long as work such as three recent investigations continues. A German study looked into effect of the cannabinoid dronabinol on the nighttime agitation experienced by patients with dementia. The German scientists concluded that, “the study suggests that dronabinol was able to reduce nocturnal motor activity and agitation in severely demented patients. Thus, it appears that dronabinol may be a safe new treatment option for behavioral and circadian disturbances in dementia.”

Meanwhile, in Columbia, an investigation into cannabinoids potential as neuroprotective compounds in Alzheimer's disease (AD) came up with results that, “suggest that CP55,940/( JWH-015) protection/rescue of PBL from noxious stimuli is determined by p53 inactivation. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the role played by cannabinoids as neuroprotective agents to target and interrupt molecular signaling that induce damage in AD disorder.”

Also, researchers at The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology in La Jolla, California discovered that, “compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.”

Tod Mikuriya was a pioneer in a field of scientific endeavor that promises to ease the suffering of literally millions of people. With each study, such as those above, it becomes clearer and clearer that the pledge will be fulfilled. It is not too much to state that Dr. Mikuriya was a hero.

Hat tip to Ian Goddard

Cross posted on The Trebach Report

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Jeff Riggenbach - 6/1/2007

I met Tod in the late '70s at a marijuana festival in San Francisco sponsored by High Times magazine. For the next five or six years, during which time our children attended the same school in Oakland, we were fairly close friends, socializing frequently and visiting each other's homes. When I left the Bay Area for Southern California in 1986, however, we drifted apart. And I regret to report that after my return to San Francisco in the early 1990s, we never really rebuilt the relationship. I last saw him about three years ago at his home and office in the Berkeley hills. He told me he'd been diasgnozed with cancer, but he looked great and seemed as vibrant and energetic as ever. In fact, he seemed more worried about my health problems than he was about his own. Tod was a learned and charming man and a great friend of everyone who seeks a rational public policy on marijuana. I'll miss him.