Who is Rick Simpson?

Run From The Cure - The Rick Simpson Story
Max Sargent

Rick Simpson is a Canadian citizen known for his documentary 'Run from the cure" which shows his work and fight for the use of cannabis oil.

Rick Simpson has always been a working man, he had a job in boiler maintenance after having a bit of a run in with the school administrators. He dropped out of school because he supplied a teacher with a case of beer and rather than wait out the consequences he started looking for job opportunities.

While he was working as a maintenance worker his cousin died of cancer. The whole experience had left a deep impression on Rick, seeing his cousin wither away as the treatment progressed.

Two years after the death of his cousin, this would be the year 1974, Rick heard an interview on the radio speaking of a way of treating cancer using cannabis. The reporter was making fun of the subject and because Rick only had friends who were into smoking pot, he didn't indulge in it himself, he paid no further attention to it.

Now we make a small leap to 1997 when Rick had a work-related accident which left him with a ringing of the ears, permanently, akin to the symptoms of tinnitus. His doctor prescribed him a plethora of medications but none of them really helped and Rick felt like he was turning into a medicine induced zombie-like state of being.

By 2001 Rick started experimenting with using cannabis himself after watching a documentary called 'The Nature of Things' by Dr. David Suzuki. The medicines he was prescribed by his doctor didn't have the desired effect and they had no other forms of treatment to offer him.

Rick was basically written off, so he asked his doctor for a prescription for cannabis. The doctor couldn't be convinced, but the cannabis made Rick feel a lot better. Rick decided to experiment with making oil instead of smoking the cannabis.

When Rick was diagnosed with three spots of skin cancer in 2003 he was treated at the hospital. One of the spots was removed but started to get infected and reappeared.

Rick then took a clean bandage, remembering the 1974 radio interview, and rubbed the cannabis oil on the bandage and applied it to the infected spot. Rick also applied the oil to the other two spots and he claims the cancer was gone and the skin was healthy again in four days.

With his positive results Rick decides to start giving the oil to friends and family and experimenting with not only applying the oil to the skin but also ingesting it. This caught the attention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who decided to raid his property and destroy all the plants but didn't file any charges against Rick at that time.

In 2005 Rick started to hand over statements and video taped interviews of his patients to the RCMP trying to show that his intent was only to help. The RCMP decided to do a second raid of Rick's property and seized all his plants.

This time charges were filed and in 2007 Rick Simpson is trailed. The evidence Rick provided was not allowed in the court case and Rick was found guilty. He was charged with a two thousand dollar fine but without probation because of the lack of criminal intent the judge ruled.

Ever since his conviction Rick has been fighting to get his message across and with his documentary 'Run From The Cure' he tries to make sure his message reaches as many people as possible.

Since 2013 Rick Simpson no longer lives in Canada. At the moment he's in Europe.

Max Sargent
Max Sargent

Max has been writing about cannabis and psychedelics for several years now. With a strong belief that an open, honest attitude toward drugs and drug policy can improve the lives of many, he seeks to offer insightful and developed opinions on the subject.