Pubdate: Wed, 01 Oct 2003
Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA)
Column: Cannabinotes
Copyright: 2003 Anderson Valley Advertiser
Author: Fred Gardner
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Tod Mikuriya, MD)


Tod Mikuriya, MD, spent six hours on the witness stand Sept. 24 getting 
cross-examined on his treatment of 17 patients by Assistant Attorney 
General Larry Mercer. The exchanges took on a pattern. Had Mikuriya taken 
Patient A's blood pressure? No. Had he checked Patient B's right-shoulder 
range of motion? No...   Occasionally the Berkeley psychiatrist would throw 
in "My role is to establish whether he had a condition that would qualify 
him to use cannabis under Health & Safety Code 11362.5."

The Medical Board of California accused Mikuriya of failing the 17 
patients, not by approving their use of cannabis, -which is indisputably 
legal under the law created by Prop 215- but by conducting cursory 

Mikuriya contends that his examinations are perfectly adequate, given the 
finite purpose for which patients consult him. He calls the prosecution "a 
vengeful operation that can be traced to former Attorney General Dan 
Lungren and a coven of rural-county sheriffs and district attorneys who 
opposed Prop 215 and resent the fact that my letters of approval have made 
certain citizens in their jurisdictions immune to arrest and prosecution."

Before Mikuriya stepped down Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew asked 
him a single, poignant question: "If there were a finding that your 
practice standards should be modified, would you be willing to do so?"

Mikuriya said "Absolutely."  A major irony of the case is that Mikuriya has 
been urging since 1997 that the Medical Board issue guidelines for 
practices such as his.

Lew will now be briefed by the lawyers -a six-week process- and take 
another month or so to make his "recommended decision" to the Board, which 
has the final say on whether -and if so, how-to sanction California's 
foremost proponent of cannabis therapeutics.

B.E. Smith Wants Your Vote

B.E. Smith came back from Vietnam and drank to excess for a couple of years 
until he discovered that marijuana enabled him to sleep at night and cope 
by day. He worked as a timber faller and contractor. After Prop 215 passed 
he grew 87 plants for himself and a few other documented patients on land 
rented from a friend in Trinity County. He was tried in federal court in 
May, 1999. After being denied the right to cite medical use and California 
law, he was convicted and spent two years in prison. His campaign statement 
is excerpted below:

So, what will I do if elected Governor? I intend to use the pardon powers 
of the California Constitution and shall issue a pardon to all persons 
convicted of a victimless crime, such as growing, selling or using 
marijuana or similar substances, including those persons now serving prison 
terms for such convictions. Furthermore, I do not intend to see such 
victimless crimes prosecuted while I am Governor.

While I will see that real crimes are prosecuted vigorously, I will not 
spend the resources of Californians chasing phantom crimes, that is, 
innocent acts that the legislators make into crimes merely to show that 
they are "tough on crime," so they can get votes to keep themselves in 
office. I will free up millions of tax dollars from these phantom crimes to 
be spent on chasing real criminals, as well as providing better education 
for our children.

I will also seek voluntary rollback of the outrageous energy contracts my 
predecessors have saddled us with. I assure you, we will roll back these 
unconscionable contracts voluntarily, or I will have the courts help us 
roll back these shameful contracts. One way or the other, I will spearhead 
a drive to push back the enormous financial pressures that have put this 
State on the verge of financial ruin.

Will these measures be popular with the big boys in business or the 
legislature? No! Do I care? No! What I care about is the crushing costs 
borne by the average Californian for the financial mismanagement bordering 
on criminal recklessness which has squeezed money from the pockets of every 

I must accomplish the People's will in an instant, because there will not 
be a second chance. Anybody who thinks a Californian like me, elected from 
among the common People, will survive politically to be elected to a second 
term of office is due for a lobotomy. The great business and political 
powers who lust for control of the enormous wealth and vitality of this 
State will organize like we've never seen before, and will vilify, 
castigate and crucify whoever puts the will of the People into action, so 
that these great powers and political forces may once more pluck and 
plunder the treasures of the golden State.

I have only two things going for me: (1) I have no reputation to maintain, 
except the reputation of one who is devoted to the Constitutions of 
California and the United States, embodying, as they do, the common rights 
of the People bought at the price of blood and treasure throughout the long 
course of history of this Nation, and (2) I owe no promises to any unseen 
business or political forces on this earth, except to you, the People of 

Today, because of the monumental mismanagement of the State's affairs by 
Gray Davis and his predecessors, we face an opportunity never before 
experienced in any State of the Union: to elect a Governor from among the 
common People of this great State, an opportunity that we may never see 
again, at least not in the lifetimes of most of us.

I intend to use all the strength God has given me and all the powers vested 
in the Office of Governor by the People of this State, for the common good 
and welfare of the Citizens and residents of California.

As a symbol of my faith and loyalty to the common People, I intend to spend 
at least two nights each month in the home of some poor Californian with 
little or no political influence, or as a inmate in one of our prisons or 
jails, as a symbol of my care and concern for those most forgotten among 
our People. Most California prisoners will leave the prison system one day. 
I intend to do all I can to see that they are better people, more 
productive members of our society, and to the degree possible, 
rehabilitated for their own good, as well as for ours.

I spent 24 months among federal prisoners, and I can tell you from personal 
experience that, while there certainly are some beyond help, many, many of 
them are good and productive people who may have taken a wrong turn, but 
are no more beyond redemption than the prodigal son mentioned in a parable 
some 2,000 years ago.

I intend to hold regular town-hall meetings with the citizens and residents 
of this State, to listen to the cries and pleas of those who cannot afford 
to hire their own private lobbyists in Sacramento. Your concerns, your 
heartaches, your needs, your concerns will be on my heart and in my agenda 

If you are a felon and not on parole, I urge you to register to vote, help 
others register, talk to your friends and relatives and put a man from 
among the common People in the Governor's chair for a season. Do it 
quickly, steadily and persistently, so that the big boys will never see us 

It is time for us to rise up and take back the reins of government from the 
big business and political interests who have despoiled our State. Let us 
rise up as a great People, and see Babylon the Great fall, in one hour, the 
hour when you, the common People of California take back the powers of 
government by the simple, but profound act of voting for one of your own to 
be Governor of California.

I will bear true faith and allegiance to you, the People, for all the days 
you choose to have me exercise the sacred powers entrusted by you in me as 
your Governor.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom