James Cox has been medically retired for twenty years because of cancer and subsequent disability. He had surgery and afterwards was told that very little could be done, and that he had approximately six months to live. Soon after he was given experimental chemotherapy and radiation. Due to his treatment, his cancer went into remission, but much organic damage had been done already, both by the cancer and the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. James was left with chronic ulcers, stomach pain, degenerative nerve damage, lack of appetite, and many other problems. He was hopelessly addicted to prescription narcotics.

He started using cannabis, which gave him relief from pain, restored his appetite, and tended to have a very positive effect on his outlook of life. He finally overcame his addiction to prescription narcotics, and used cannabis alone.

James was arrested and imprisoned for growing cannabis. His wife was charged with possession. His house was seized. James was given a 15-year sentence for cultivation and a concurrent 5-year sentence for possession. His wife, who had nothing to do with any of it, was given five years for possession, pleaded to 90 days with five years probation. Both of them tried to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, but the police interceded. James' physical condition deteriorated to a point where he was not expected to live, so he was sent home with his sentence on stay. His wife was imprisoned.

James needed cannabis to live, so he began growing it again. He was caught and received a mandatory federal sentence. James was placed on morphine while in prison. He almost died a number of times. James is very drugged with the amount of morphine he needs.

James has a teenage son who has suffered the most during this ordeal. He is silent and does not like to leave the house. He is afraid of the world and of the police.