BRANTFORD – Rick Simpson, creator of a marijuana extract known as RSO, claims the extract can cure some forms of cancer.
You might think that Simpson, one of the pioneers of legal medicinal use of marijuana, would be thrilled that the Liberals have made pot legal through Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but Simpson is not entirely pleased with how Trudeau is going about doing it.
Either way, Simpson will continue to educate people on the new studies and medical values of the Cannabis plant and continue his lecture circuit which takes him around the world.
Two Row Times caught up with Simpson while he was visiting friends in Brantford earlier his week.
“From what I understand, he has given out about 40 licences to these different companies to produce extracts, but what they are trying to bring in genetically modified plants and restrict the active ingredient.”
He further theorizes that it would be the government’s aim to control the growing of a harmless medicinal plant and sell the right to grow it to Big Pharma or Monsanto or something like that.
“At the reported $10 per gram [that] the government is going to charge, that’s only $4,480 a pound? I can get it from a street dealer for less than that,” he says. “It’s our right to this medicine. It’s non-addictive, hasn’t killed anyone. You don’t ban the most medicinal plant on earth.”
Simpson fears the quality of government grown marijuana and controlled overpricing will drive the black market, which is cheaper and more readily available.
Simpson’s study has shown the use of Cannabis in a number of indigenous peoples around the world where it grows free, has always been.
The TRT’s series on ancient remedies from a Tuscarora shaman from the 1800s includes hemp plants as an ingredient in a few of them.
“I don’t know why Indian Nations don’t just tell the federal government to go to hell about restricting or banning the use of medicine plants they have been using for a number of ailments since time immemorial,” he says.
Simpson retained a head injury in 1997 and was treated for post-concussion syndrome. He was put on a number of pills but they didn’t seem to be really doing the job.
“I was watching an episode of the Nature of Things with David Suzuki,” recalls Simpson. “There was a documentary out at that time called Reefer Madness II and it was about all these people getting results from Marijuana. I had smoked pot before but I never thought of it as medicine. I went out and got some from the street, and smoked it and it worked better than anything they had prescribed for me.”
He tried to get a prescription for it but his family doctor was dead set against it and would not issue a prescription, even though it was technically available to him.
“Imagine — a plant that has been in use for 5,000 years or more is still under study?” he hypothetically asks. “He said that smoking pot was no good for the lungs etcetera, so I asked him, what if I can make an extract from it so I’m not smoking it? The doctor still said no.”
Even today, some doctors will not prescribe it.
The prescribed pharmaceuticals Simpson was given didn’t work well and became an issue including suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
“I thought I’d try making my own extract and try that.” Simpson says. “What I needed was a sedative because I couldn’t sleep, and it sure did the job. At first I was afraid of it because I didn’t know how powerful it would be.”
His doctor told Simpson in late 2001 there was nothing left to do and pretty well told him he was on his own.
Left to his own devices, Simpson began using the extract he had developed and found that it was bring relief to a number of ailments, including arthritic pain in the knees.
In late 2002, he developed melanoma spots on this nose, cheek and chest.
“I had these lesions since the 1990s and they wouldn’t go away,” says Simpson. “I had the operation on my nose, and it got infected, and then came back anyhow.”
He read in a magazine that there was some evidence of pot being able to cure some forms of cancer, but no one seemed to accept the studies as legitimate at the time.
With nothing to lose, he experimented on himself, dropping a dab on each of his lesions and put a bandage on them.
He immediately felt something different. He normally felt something like a sliver in each of the small lesions, or an annoying tingle — and it stopped.
He left the bandages on the spots for several days, not expecting much, but when he removed them, the lesions were completely gone. From that moment on, he became a vigilant fighter for the legalization of medical marijuana and its extracts.
“I went back to my doctor with a copy of my pathology report and there it was, carcinoma, so I asked to see the doctor and show him, but she would not book the appointment, saying the doctor would not prescribe marijuana.”
This response floored him.
“They always say they are looking for a cure for cancer and when one comes up, like my extract oil, they write it off if it doesn’t come through Big Pharma,” he says.
“If I was a small-town doctor and someone came in with a cure for cancer, you would think he would be interested,” says Simpson. “I started giving the oil to people with psoriasis, burns and other skin conditions, and getting positive results.”
Simpson began taking the oil internally, saying he knows it would not hurt anyone, and also recommending it to others. He said the results have been astounding.
In 2003, he met with two Ministers of Health and every political party, David Suzuki, the Canadian Cancer Society and anyone else that could make a difference in opening up to medical cannabis.
The RCMP has raided him four times, but he is not selling the oil, so technically he was not trafficking, but was convicted anyway.
“I have been convicted for trafficking, but in the sentencing, the judge said, ‘If it were any other circumstance, Mr. Simpson would be winning awards for his work.’”
The Crown Attorney said the issue was that Simpson had not gone through the right channels, but he doesn’t know how many more channels he could have tried to go through, unsuccessfully.
It was acknowledged by the judge that there was no criminal intent, but he was still convicted.
“I brought in 10 patients to testify, two were cured of terminal cancers, six doctors and a big box of scientific evidence, and the court would not let them on the stand or accept my evidence.”
Simpson now lives in Croatia, the homeland of his wife. He finds Europe is generally way ahead of North America in openness to the healing power of Cannabis.
Simpson is being invited as an advisor to several countries studying the medical use of Marijuana. In Ireland, they were working on an oil extract but couldn’t find the right mix, so invited him to assess their work.
Simpson still does not sell his oil but freely gives the recipe on his website. Rick Simpson Oil is not government approved, at least not yet, but will soon, if Simpson has anything to do with it.
“There are so many people out there who have taken my oil recipe and produce it under my name as RSO or Rick Simpson Oil, but is not.
“It’s a cheap imitation of Rick Simpson’s Oil,” he says. “Can you imagine someone selling a sick or dying person a bogus remedy, and doing it under my name?”