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Tod Mikuriya Papers

Identifier: MS C 633


Tod Mikuriya (1933-2007) was a psychiatrist and medical marijuana activist. In addition to his work in addiction medicine and biofeedback, he is well-known for compiling Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972, a master bibliography of historical resources on marijuana, and for campaigning for California Proposition 215 which legalized medical marijuana in the state in 1996. Dr. Mikuriya conducted research on marijuana use and founded the California Cannabis Research Medical Group, a non-profit educational organization.


  • 1933-2015


134.7 Linear Feet (137 boxes + map drawer)


Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Access Restrictions

Collection contains restricted material. Portions of the collection are restricted according to HMD's Access to Health Information of Individuals policy. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access. For access to the policy and application form, please visit

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

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Biographical Note

Tod Hiro Mikuriya (1933-2007) was born in Pennsylvania to Anna Schwenk Mikuriya, a German immigrant and teacher, and Tadafumi Mikuriya, a descendant of a Japanese samurai family and civil engineer. In 1951, Dr. Mikuriya graduated from the George School, a private Quaker preparatory school. He initially attended Haverford College but was expelled during his Junior Year. He went on to graduate with his bachelor's degree from Reed College in Oregon in 1956. He was drafted into the Army in 1957 and served as an attendant at Brooke Army Hospital psychiatric ward at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Dr. Mikuriya earned his M.D. from Temple University in 1962 and completed his internship at Southern Pacific Hospital in San Francisco, California. He completed residencies in psychiatry at Oregon State Hospital and Mendocino State Hospital.

Dr. Mikuriya directed the drug addiction treatment center of the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute in Princeton, New Jersey between 1966-1967. In 1967, he became the director of non-classified marijuana research for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse. While at NIMH, Dr. Mikuriya collected historical literature on marijuana found in the National Library of Medicine's holdings. This collection of literature would become the basis for Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972, a master bibliography of historical literature on marijuana which Dr. Mikuriya self-published in 1972. Dr. Mikuriya left NIMH due to the agency's disinterest in funding research which highlighted potential benefits of cannabis.

After leaving NIMH, Dr. Mikuriya relocated to California where he continued working on publishing Marijuana: Medical Papers. Dr. Mikuriya also worked for the Alameda County Alcoholism Clinic and for the state's Department of Rehabilitation. In 1970, he began working as a staff psychiatrist at the Everett A. Gladman Memorial Hospital, the first inpatient psychiatric facility in Northern California. While there, he conducted research projects on schizophrenia. During the 1970s, Dr. Mikuriya also served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Eden Medical Center. By the mid-1970s, Dr. Mikuriya began providing biofeedback therapy for his psychiatry patients out of an office at the Claremont Hotel through his self-founded company Mikuriya Data Systems.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Mikuriya became an active pro-cannabis political activist. He participated in several pro-Cannabis groups including NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and Amorphia (a cannabis co-op). Dr. Mikuriya also actively campaigned for local legislation to make marijuana more accessible, most notably California Proposition 215 (Prop 215) which legalized medical marijuana in California in 1996. Dr. Mikuriya was involved with various Cannabis Buyers' Clubs (CBCs), especially the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club (SFCBC), the first public marijuana dispensary in the United States. Dr. Mikuriya helped draft forms for the SFCBC and interviewed patients for a study that he titled "Cannabis Medicinal Uses at a 'Buyers' Club." After the passage of Proposition 215 and the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, Dr. Mikuriya wrote protocols for other cannabis buyers' clubs while continuing to see patients out of his home. Dr. Mikuriya began a large data collection project tracking California counties' implementation of and compliance with the Compassionate Use Act. In the early 2000s, Dr. Mikuriya founded the California Cannabis Medical Research Group, a non-profit organization which sought to educate physicians about medical marijuana.

Dr. Mikuriya faced many consequences for his activism and for prescribing medical marijuana to his patients. After his public campaign for Prop 215, he lost his office at the Claremont Hotel and his practice underwent a Medicare audit. In 2000, the Medical Board of California accused Dr. Mikuriya of recommending cannabis without first conducting proper physical examinations. In 2004, after a lengthy investigation, the Medical Board placed Dr. Mikuriya under probation.

Dr. Mikuriya died at his home in Berkeley, California in May 2007 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Collection Summary

Writings, correspondence, subject files, reprints, research files, business documents, clippings, photographs, audiovisual records, and memorabilia document the professional career and medical marijuana advocacy activities of psychiatrist Dr. Tod Mikuriya. A highlight of the collection is the extensive ephemera and artifacts related to medical marijuana and medical activism contained in Series 7.

Series 1 is comprised of personal records including documents pertaining to Dr. Mikuriya's education, honors and awards, and clippings of articles which mention Dr. Mikuriya. Series 1 notably contains Dr. Mikuriya's personal writings including a large body of unpublished poetry. The bulk of Dr. Mikuriya's photographs are contained in this series. Series 1 also contains information on Dr. Mikuriya's original personal filing system.

Series 2 contains the bulk of records pertaining to Dr. Mikuriya's medical marijuana advocacy activities, including the founding documents of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group (CCRMG), research and drafts pertaining to CCRMG's harm reduction research and publications, and information on the Compassionate Use Act implementation and compliance data that Dr. Mikuriya collected. Records documenting Dr. Mikuriya's involvement with various Cannabis Buyers' Clubs, including videotaped interviews with medical marijuana users, can also be found in Series 2. Most of the records relating to the passage of California Proposition 215 that Dr. Mikuriya collected are contained in this series. Series 2 also contains records of Classic Pharmaceuticals, a company the Dr. Mikuriya founded to educate the public about medical marijuana consumption. Court records and related correspondence pertaining to the ad hoc legal consultancy that Dr. Mikuriya provided to medical cannabis users facing prosecution is also contained in Series 2. Notably, records documenting the legal and professional repercussions that Dr. Mikuriya faced, including the Medicare audit and the California Medical Board's investigation into Dr. Mikuriya's practice and his ensuing probation are container in Series 2. The bulk of audiovisual recordings pertaining to medical marijuana activism are also contained in this series. The audiovisual records are comprised primarily of video and audio recordings of cannabis activism events or meetings that Dr. Mikuriya attended, public interviews and lectures that Dr. Mikuriya gave, as well as audio and video recordings which document the medical marijuana legalization movement more generally. Notably, Dr. Mikuriya's collection of "drug tapes," chronological video clips of news broadcasts about medical marijuana, are contained in Series 2.

Information on MediComp Press, the company that Dr. Mikuriya founded to publish his Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972 (MMP) is contained in Series 4.

Series 5 contains Dr. Mikuriya's collection of vertical subject files which he collected over the course of his career. The subject files include copies of scholarly literature on medical marijuana and drugs, copies of newspaper or magazine articles, single issues of marijuana- or drug-related magazines and other publications, advertisements, event fliers, pamphlets, and reports. Dr. Mikuriya's collection of published statistical reports about drug use and enforcement in California is also found in Series 5. This series additionally Dr. Mikuriya's collection of photocopies of historical resources on cannabis dating from the eighteenth century.

Dr. Mikuriya's extensive collection of medical marijuana ephemera and artifacts is contained in Series 7. Notable objects include a variety of cannabis vaporizers and pipes which showcase advancements in medical marijuana methods of consumption. Series 7 also contains a large collection of t-shirts and other clothing, buttons, patches, and stickers from various activism events and displaying various slogans from the medical marijuana legalization movement. Dr. Mikuriya's memorabilia collection also includes posters and signs from activism events as well as those advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana.

Dr. Mikuriya frequently employed abbreviations and initialisms to describe his records. Throughout the collection, Dr. Mikuriya's name is often abbreviated to "THM." "Medical marijuana" is often abbreviated to "mj" or "mmj."


Tod Mikuriya (1933-2007) was a psychiatrist and medical marijuana activist. In addition to his work in addiction medicine and biofeedback, he is well-known for compiling Marijuana: Medical Papers, 1839-1972, a master bibliography of historical resources on marijuana, and for campaigning for California Proposition 215 which legalized medical marijuana in the state in 1996. Dr. Mikuriya conducted research on marijuana use and founded the California Cannabis Research Medical Group, a non-profit educational organization.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine


Gift, Mary Jane Mikuriya, Acc. 2009-005/009/014/015/021/023; 2011-028; 2013-004/028; 2015-030.


Processed by
Megan O'Hern
Encoded by
Megan O'Hern
Processing completed
October 2019

Processing Information

The Tod Mikuriya Papers were rehoused from original containers into archival folders and boxes upon receipt from the donor. In the course of final processing several categories of material were weeded from the original accession and discarded by the processing archivist: financial records, medical records, family records, end of life planning records, home improvement records, patient intake forms, equipment manuals and purchase documents, and audiovisual records which fall into the above categories. Archivists augmented the original collection by conducting an Archive-It web crawl of selected websites.

Finding Aid to the Tod Mikuriya Papers, 1933-2015
Unverified Partial Draft
Megan O'Hern
October 2019
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)