On November 25, 2009, shortly after an article on cannabis and cancer was published in HIGH TIMES, Rick Simpson's home in Nova Scotia was raided and seized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). For the past seven years, Simpson has been making oil from cannabis grown on his property and providing it freely to cancer patients. "Seventy per cent of the patients that follow the protocol become cancer-free after ingesting 60 grams of high-quality oil," claims Simpson. This is the third time Simpson's property has been raided and he has already been convicted of being a drug dealer, even though he never accepted money in exchange for oil. Over a dozen patients and doctors were present and willing to testify at his trial, but none were allowed to take the stand.

 

The following day, on November 26, Simpson was crowned HIGH TIMES Freedom Fighter of the Year at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Wearing the same tricorn hat worn onstage by the likes of Jack Herer, Tommy Chong and Eddy Lepp, Simpson spoke to a crowd of 2,000 at the Melkweg nightclub:

 

"Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. It's a pleasure to be here at the Cup. I've met so many wonderful people... the seed companies... DNA seeds and THSeeds and all the rest of the guys. And Arjan from Greenhouse. He brought me here. And I'll tell you right now, you haven't lived unless you've been on the back of a scooter with Arjan at the wheel. That's a dangerous experience! It was thrilling. The whole trip has been thrilling. And what a great event! But, unfortunately, the way it stands right now...you see, three years ago, on November 30th, on my 58th birthday, they arrested me and they put me in jail for four days without my medicine. And if I go that length of time... if you had seen me at the end of the four days... of course, the jail is a torture house. It's so hot you can't sleep. My blood pressure was all out of whack. I mean, I looked in pretty bad shape after four days. So if I go back to Canada... I've had three charges since 2005... so if I go back, I'll be charged, put in jail, and probably denied bail... and that's about all it will take, because it takes months to get into the court system. So that would kill me. So the only thing I can do is become an exile and seek political refuge in Europe. And that's what I plan to do. [Huge ovation from the crowd] I can give them hell from here just as easy as I can from over there. But the problem is folks, there's people back in Canada depending on me to save their lives and give them advice. And I can no longer do that now. But if anyone out there has cancer or a serious illness, go to our website, phoenixtears.ca, and look into the recipe. Make the medicine for your loved ones. It can save their lives, it can change people's lives, so for God’s sake, make it! And if anybody out there has a couple bucks to send my way at phoenixtears.ca, I'd sure appreciate it because I don't know what the rest of Europe is like, but Amsterdam is quite expensive. But a wonderful city! Thank you very much, folks."