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Richard Lawrence Miller graduated from William Jewell College in 1971 (BA history) and was trained as a radio broadcaster at Northwest Missouri State University (BA 1973). The Missouri Broadcasters Association cited his public affairs work as outstanding. In 1975 the Missouri House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring Miller's work in presenting the workings of the legislature to radio listeners.

Miller did public affairs broadcasting at Northwest Missouri State, Kirkwood Community College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and University of Missouri--Kansas City. He has also worked at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, preserving and organizing its photograph collection.. And Miller supervised the College of Pharmacy library at the University of Iowa.

In 1982 he converted his long-standing part-time interest in historical research into full time endeavor. His first history book, published by McGraw-Hill in 1985, was Truman: The Rise to Power. The Washington Post called it "a classic contribution to our understanding of a great man and the lost time that molded him and gave him to the nation." The Post also said, "In lush and loving detail, Miller presents a magisterial study of the texture of local politics in early 20th century mid-America. Miller boasts--it is an unusual and refreshing boast for a political biographer today--that he is 'the son of a county patronage politician,' and that his family's livelihood 'depended on courthouse intrigue and electioneering.' What is often evaded, in the sterile world of the new media politics, as something declasse and vaguely shameful, Miller celebrates; and this background has served his well indeed."

Miller's second book, published by Walker and Company in 1988, was Heritage of Fear: Illusion and Reality in the Cold War. Contrary to perceptions promoted by senior federal officials, in this book Miller argued that world communism was weak rather than strong, indeed that the so-called "communist empire" was on the verge of collapse. His thesis met harsh skepticism, but events soon demonstrated the correctness of his analysis.

Miller's latest book is published by Praeger, one of the nation's most distinguished publishers of scholarly research. In The Case for Legalizing Drugs Miller argues that most problems associated with illicit drugs are caused by their illegality, not their chemistry, and that reforming such laws would not be a surrender to drugs, but a liberation from them. Federal judge Robert W. Sweet said, "This volume abounds in facts relating to drug use. Didactic and jarring in certain of its theses, but a necessary study for those concerned about drug use in America."

Miller's work is cited as authoritative by other scholars such as William E. Pemberton (Harry S Truman: Fair Dealer and Cold Warrior), Richard Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb), Hugh Thomas (Armed Truce: The Beginnings of the Cold War 1945-1946), Stephan Fox (Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth-Century America), and William Wilbanks (The Myth of a Racist Criminal Justice System).

In addition to scholarly books, Miller's writings have appeared in publications such as Army, a professional military journal published by the Association of the U.S. Army. He has presented results of his research to professional meetings hosted by history departments at Northeast Missouri State University and University of Missouri--Kansas City, and at law conferences held at the University of Missouri law schools at Columbia and Kansas City. He is scheduled as a featured-speaker at an upcoming meeting of the Missouri Association of Drug and Alcohol Counselors, and is tentatively scheduled to appear with Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and other drug policy experts at the International Conference on Drug Policy Reform to be held in Washington, DC, in November 1991. The Drug Policy Foundation of Washington, DC, plans to publish Miller's analysis of ethics in medical research involving adolescent marijuana smokers. His analysis of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratory system, an examination commissioned by FDA scientists, helped convince Senator Robert Dole to abandon his support for consolidating FDA laboratories around the country, and instead Senator Dole successfully worked to retain the current system.

While studying drug control law, Miller noticed that Cannabis sativa L., the plant that yields marijuana, seemed unique among drug producing plants because it had many non-drug commercial uses. Those non-drug uses have long been protected by law; in the 1940's U.S. farmers raised many thousands of acres of cannabis while strict anti-marijuana laws remained in effect. Miller concluded that the hemp growing system used throughout the country in the 1940's could be reinstated in Missouri without boosting illicit marijuana supplies, providing Missouri farmers with an alternative crop and a virtual market monopoly on U.S. Hemp production.

The following report explains how Miller reached this conclusion.

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