By Fred Gardner, managing editor, in the Summer 2010 print edition (slightly updated).
• What are O’Shaughnessy’s goals?
O’S was launched in 2003 at the urging of Tod Mikuriya, who essentially had created a new specialty —“cannabis clinician.” Tod was well aware that a medical specialty is defined by having a journal in which the practitioners can publish their findings and observations and keep up with developments in the field. One goal was to establish the credibility of the field itself — Cannabis Therapeutics.
• Then why doesn’t O’Shaughnessy’s try to look like a medical journal?
Prop 215 created this unique semi-legal status for cannabis —usable under California law but not under federal law. Which is not to say that California law was being implemented. The state medical board —which licenses physicians— accused Tod of violating a vague, arbitrarily applied “standard of care.” The complaints against him were lodged not by patients or their loved ones, but by sheriffs, cops and DAs who resented his willingness to approve cannabis use by people they were accustomed to busting. So O’S was conceived as a cross between a medical journal and a defense committee leaflet. And it came out as a tabloid.
Tod said, “I’m a townie, not a gownie. I care about reaching rank-and-file patients and my fellow clinicians —my real peers. I don’t care about the so-called prestige of appearing in a peer-reviewed journal. Some prestige! Recent events have exposed them as hot-beds of favoritism and outlets for ghostwriters in the employ of drug companies.”
• Does O’Shaughnessy’s have a website?
In 2010 we pledged to create a strong web presence. We’re now online at BeyondTHC.com, but O’S is still way under the radar.
• What is O’Shaughnessy’s publishing schedule?
The paper comes out when we have something to say and can pay the printer.
• Are you for legalization of marijuana?
We are for much more than legalization of marijuana. We want our country to stop waging war in the name of “national security.” Our infrastructure needs rebuilding— that would be a mission worthy of our men and women doing national service. Americans who need work should be able to get land and training to become small farmers. Growing our own —not just marijuana—seems like the logical way out of the eco-crisis. The only way out.
• Wouldn’t that require a big government program?
We’re not against government of the people, by the people, for the people. That’s what America is supposed to stand for. We’re against government controlled by the corporations.
• What do you think of Barack Obama?
We don’t want to see our well-intentioned young president go down in history as a tragic figure.