Rick Simpson is a true believer. He believes that he rediscovered the cure for cancer. Science, more and more, backs him up on this assertion.
His eponymous cannabis oil, also known as RSO or Phoenix Tears, a sticky, viscous cannabis concentrate created by breaking down indica strains, measures in the range of 90 percent THC, is said to be the fix for a range of maladies from cancer to diabetes to gout, arthritis, migraines, epilepsy, opioid dependence and more than a dozen other systemic health issues.
Simpson came upon his conviction regarding the efficacy of cannabis oil through life experience. In 1997, he sustained a work-related head injury that left him with post concussion syndrome that manifested itself by way of what he describes in his first movie, “Run From The Cure,” as a noise akin to a lawnmower in his head. His doctor in Canada prescribed him various pharmaceutical medications which left him in a fog without helping the problem. Simpson learned of the potential medicinal properties of marijuana and got himself some; smoking fixed both the original post concussion syndrome and the problems created by the drugs prescribed to him.
The only remaining problem, according to his physician, was the fact that smoking cannabis could be a health hazard in its own right, so Simpson created an extremely concentrated version of cannabis by soaking and cooking down a pound of dried cannabis in a naphtha solution to create a gooey, potent medicine. This was the preparation that would cure his cancer and set Simpson on the path to being an international cannabis activist.
A short time later, in 2003, Simpson developed basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer that manifested in the form of two patches on his face and a third on his neck. He had one of the tumors on his face removed surgically, with mixed results. He remembered a radio headline from the 1970s that told of a discovery by researchers at the University of Virginia that THC could cure cancer in mice. Following the logic that cancer is cancer, be it in mice or men, he applied his oil that he had been ingesting as an overall health tonic, to the diseased areas on his face and covered them with bandages. When he removed the bandages four days later, his cancer was healed.
Simpson began work to spread the message of his medical miracle with the zeal of a convert. He began growing cannabis on his property in Nova Scotia and distributing his medicine for free to any and all in need. He tried to share his message with doctors and cancer organizations in Canada, to no avail. He landed on the wrong side of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, became the target of several raids and eventually decided to leave the country, relocating to Amsterdam.
From there, he’s been a tireless advocate for the healing powers of cannabis. He has taken part in the creation of a second film and has written two e-books on the subject. He disseminates information on the process of creating “his” medicine, with no benefit to himself, as he does not sell or distribute the actual product. He is a simple man, something the decidedly low-tech presentation of his message will confirm. He simply gives his testimony, like a boss, a CannaBoss, and the world slowly moves to meet his truth.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]