This article originally appeared on on February 20, 2019. By Kate Johnson.

The story of Rick Simpson and his namesake cannabis oil has made him a hero to some and a menace to others. Simpson’s claim that he used the oil to cure his own skin cancer has spread online like a viral tidal wave.

The recipe for Rick Simpson oil (RSO), which he says he has never sold, is translated in 72 languages on his website, which also carries first-person stories extolling the product’s “miraculous” properties…

But clinicians familiar with Simpson and his cult-like following take a different view.

“It’s terrifying,” said Adam Friedman, MD, professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, DC. “This guy’s gotta be stopped.”

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