High Folks: Cancer, The Ghost of Nick D’Amelio’s Past

in Culture

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our newest bi-weekly column, High Folks: the cannabis-infused version of Humans of New York, in which we take an intimate look at people’s relationships with our most beloved plant. The connection between humans and cannabis is primal, dynamic, and profound. But it’s something that’s increasingly overlooked in the new age of weed. So in an effort to combat the superficiality of cannabis in the social media-age, High Times is proud to present to you a collection of work that highlights one of life’s most beautiful gifts: connection.
On the back of a black 2005 Chevy Tahoe z71, the statement “fuck cancer” is disruptive and haunting. The words also follow you up and down Nick D’Amelio’s Instagram feed like an unwanted ghost. When we ask the 24-year-old from Waldwick, New Jersey, what “fuck cancer” means to him, he begins by telling us the story of how his relationship with cannabis began.
“On my 18 birthday, I wasn’t aware that my stepfather was sick but it seems that I smoked the joint that started it all,” D’Amelio tells High Times.
In August 2013, Nick’s life became a wildfire of confusion. His stepfather, Peter Allen, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. At the time of the diagnosis, D’Amelio’s relationship with cannabis was just blossoming.
“My friend said ‘Let’s get high!’ At the time I didn’t smoke, but I told him if he could roll a joint, then I would smoke it,” says D’Amelio, reminiscing on his 18th birthday. “He ended up YouTubing it, and I ended up having to smoke the joint because he rolled one.”
Shortly after his birthday, D’Amelio’s mother Fran Benintende, took his stepfather to the hospital for Ulcerative Colitis. That’s …

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Author: Lyneisha Watson / High Times

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