The story follows Rick Simpson, as he witnesses his cousin go through cancer. The year was 1969 when Rick’s 22 year-old cousin was officially declared to bear cancer. Following a series of operations and consistent chemo-therapy, it was easy to notice that his cousin was losing weight rapidly. He had dropped to 120 pounds, in contrast to his original weight of 200 pounds. In 1972, right after taking a vacation, it came to a shock for everyone when the cousin suddenly collapsed in front of Rick. They were quick to bring him to the doctor, hoping it wasn’t a relapse of his cancer. Unfortunately, the only comment that the doctor had for them was, “You have three to six months to live.”
The cousin lost his life three months thereafter, with Rick seeing the extent of the damage the disease had caused for his cousin – making his weight drop to a staggering light 55 pounds. As his cousin was more of a brother to him than a cousin, having had grown up together, the loss was, needless to say, devastating for Rick.
It was three years after the passing of his cousin that he heard from a local radio station, CKDH, in Amherst, while driving his car to work, of a report involving the eradication of cancer cells through the usage of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active hallucinogenic component of marijuana. Judging by the boisterous laughter he radio announcer had, however, he was quick to dismiss the report as nonsensical.
In 1997, Rick sustained a very bad head injury while working. He was eventually showed symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Naturally, he sought typical medical treatment: For five years, he took every single pill the clinicians threw at him – they did nothing but add insult to injury.
The next year, desperate to relive himself of the illness, he sought the aid of alternative means of medication, and ultimately decided to pursuit marijuana as therapy.