Home Arts & Entertainment The Arts Documentary focuses on the healing power of medical marijuana

Documentary focuses on the healing power of medical marijuana

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Mike Paterson EZRA SOIFERMAN PHOTO
Mike Paterson EZRA SOIFERMAN PHOTO

A documentary following a man who has treated his sciatica pain by eating medical marijuana edibles aired this past Tuesday night on CBC. The man, a Montreal comedian named Mike Paterson, insists that consuming these edibles has been the only successful treatment to ease his chronic back pain.

Grass Fed
Grass Fed

The 81-minute film, aptly titled Grass Fed, is the brainchild of Jewish-Canadian director and cinematographer Ezra Soiferman. It is produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises.

“I noticed there was a growing trend of patients and chefs starting to cook with marijuana and they were starting to create all sorts of incredible ‘edibles’ to use either as medicine, for a whole range of illnesses, or just to help relax, lift spirits, or get inspired. It was the beginning of something big, really big, and I knew this niche was what I wanted to capture in what I thought would be a TV series,” Soiferman tells The CJN.

A 1994 NYU film school graduate, Soiferman has filmed five television documentaries prior to Grass Fed, his first full-length feature.

“I bumped into Mike Paterson, whom I had first met some 15 years earlier on a mutual friend’s film set. I had a gut feeling he’d make a great host for the series, so I asked him if he’d be interested.  He loved the idea but confided in me that he had sciatica and nothing was working to treat it. He told me that he’d love to try edibles to see if it would help the pain. I decided to turn the project into a film about his edible adventures, getting a prescription for legal medical cannabis, and trying to be treated with it before his upcoming wedding [to copywriter Monika Schmidt],” Soiferman says.

Ezra Soiferman COURTESY
Ezra Soiferman COURTESY

In the film, Paterson, 40, says that after medicating himself with medical marijuana, his chronic back pain began to subside, almost immediately. “He made a vow to change his lifestyle and swore off booze, started working out, hiking, lifting ‘thousands and thousands of pounds,’ and eating all sorts of marijuana and hemp-infused foods,” says Soiferman. “He lost close to 50 pounds in those four months and felt all the better for it. I was simply amazed at his metamorphosis, as were his friends and family.”

Grass Fed aired across Canada this past Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2015 on CBC’s documentary channel, and will be available at the Canadian iTunes store next week.

To view the recipe for Monika Schmidt’s medicated brownies, click here.