Medical cannabis patients come from all walks of life, they may be a retired sea captain, an aspiring dog groomer, a taxi driver, a nurse, a competitive swimmer, you name it. Medical cannabis patients are not always easy to pick out of a crowd (unless they’re smoking a joint). Thankfully, documentary filmmaker Ezra Soiferman has given us a snapshot into the life experiences of Mike Patterson, a Montreal Comedian with Sciatica and debilitating back pain.
Mike, like so many potential cannabis consumers, has avoided its use because of the negative health effects and unpleasant experience he has when smoking. He found that smoking cannabis often led to anxiety and was often concerned about arrest and police harassment for breaking the law. Due to these limitations, he has avoided trying cannabis as a medicine until now. Grass Fed takes us on Mike’s medicinal cannabis mission to discover how to legally gain access to the plant; how to enjoy ingesting it safely; and to explore places where cannabis is all-out legal for adult use.
He visits Tweed and is given a facility tour by president Mark Zekulin, who after parading him past a pristine array of plants, admits that Mike will have to process the dried marihuana they provide him with at home if he wants to eat it. Mike and his fiancée Monika visit Adam Greenblat in Montreal’s Santé Cannabis, a clinic that helps patients access their medicine as well as learn how to properly use it. He meets other medical cannabis patients who share stories and support.
In the United States he visits a California Grow Collective where patients share the duties and bounties of a community crop, a model which gives patients gardening time and cheap medicine. In Denver he meets a gourmet chef with a passion for medical cannabis cooking and is introduced to modern products with precise cannabinoid doses. He even tries a transdermal patch. The journey is broken up by short snippets of information about hemp, the history of medical cannabis in Canada, the effects of different Cannabinoids and tips on ingestion methods.
What I really like about this documentary is that not only is Mike learning about how to manage his back pain with cannabis but he is also focusing on his general health. His dietary transformation and regular exercise serve as an excellent example to other patients who stand to benefit from complementing their medicinal consumption with positive lifestyle choices. The results speak for themselves. Mike is inspired to success by his love Monika, vowing to drop 50 lbs. before their wedding day in Mexico.
Grass Fed is funny, informative and inspirational all at once. Whether it’s joking about eating kale, talking about Industrial Hemp, or witnessing the support of his friends and family, Mike’s Life-altering Journey offers something for everyone. With very little experience but a lot of determination, Mike shows what’s possible with a combination of exercise, support, courage and cannabis. The end of the movie has a twist that should be familiar to readers! Overall, Grass Fed’s high quality production and enjoyable Soundtrack make it a highly recommended movie for Canadians interested in cannabis.
Grass Fed Airs
Tuesday, Nov 24th, 9pmET on the CBC Documentary Channel
(previously appeared at LiftCannabis)