NORML is saddened to report on the passing of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, the “Father of Cannabis Research.” He was 92 years old.
Dr. Mechoulam began conducting pioneering scientific experiments with cannabis in the 1960s. His research team was the first to isolate THC, among other cannabinoids. In later years, his research played a key role in the discovery of the endogenous cannabinoids and their receptors.
For nearly five decades, Dr. Mechoulam served on the faculty of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In the 1990s, he was among the founding members of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines.
Upon learning of the news of his passing, Hebrew University President Asher Cohen said: “Most of the human and scientific knowledge about cannabis was accumulated thanks to Professor Mechoulam. He paved the way for groundbreaking studies and initiated scientific cooperation between researchers around the world. Mechoulam was a sharp-minded and charismatic pioneer. This is a sad day for the academic community and for the university. I send my sincere condolences to his family.”
NORML Board Member Dr. Dale Gieringer added: “Dr. Raphael Mechoulam was the premier cannabinoid scientist of our time. He pioneered the discovery of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and their receptors. No one knew more about cannabinoid chemistry, or was more delighted to share his knowledge with others, than Dr. Mechoulam. He will be sorely missed.”
Clint Werner, author of the book Marijuana: Gateway to Health, said: “Dr. Mechoulam’s work has freed a lot of people. [He] freed people from pain, discomfort, suffering, imprisonment and irrational negativity. He was a wonderful person.”
NORML offers its condolences to the friends and family of Raphael Mechoulam.