archival inkjet print

Ric Smith (1963-2012) was a beloved medical marijuana activist who inspired everyone he came across, even the Seattle Times declared him a miracle. Ric suffered from various forms of cancer since childhood, contracted HIV from a blood transfusion at age 23, and suffered liver failure from HIV medications that required him to undergo years of weekly dialysis. After attempting chemotherapy and other traditional treatments to no avail, Ric first tried cannabis in 1996 at Seattle Hempfest. Some say he was reborn and a few weeks later he was actually kicked out of his hospice for being ‘too healthy’. Since then, Ric put his heart and soul into medical marijuana awareness and education.

 

Ric credits marijuana for saving his life by restoring his appetite, which allowed him to gain weight and enough strength for his body to tolerate the doctor-prescribed steroids. His well-known catchphrase “Munchies save lives!” continues to live on. Ric was passionate for the legalization and taxation of cannabis, “As a taxpayer, let me pay for something I use.” His passion for educating and spreading the benefits of cannabis is what kept him not only alive, but exceptionally positive. Ric was a well-known, adamant opponent to i-502, the initiative to legalize recreational use, believing that such a law would condemn him and countless others to suffer and die. In December of 2012, Ric decided to end his dialysis treatment, which came to a shock to those closest to him as he had always been proud to declare that dialysis and cannabis kept him alive all these years. He passed away a few days later surrounded by family and close friends. His death sent a ripple throughout the medical marijuana community and, as many have said, Ric and his commitment to the cause will not be forgotten.

 

Allie Beckett

Archival Inkjet Print

20” x 30”

2012