Sam Mellace can’t see an 80-year-old lighting up a joint and smoking
What he can see, is the use of medicinal marijuana and his clinics expanding across Canada.
Mellace opened the doors to his East York clinic on Wednesday morning in hopes of helping patients the same way he has been helped, through the use of marijuana.
The Danforth location of the New Age Medical Clinic appears to be just a regular health medical clinic.
With a waiting room as soon as you walk in, to a greeting by a pleasant receptionist, to the examination rooms that remind you of your visits to your family doctor: there is no visible evidence of marijuana.
Other then the smell. It really does smell like pot.
Mellace, 59, is a well known activist and federally licensed as a patient and grower of marijuana.
He has staffed the clinic with legitimate doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists to help incoming patients.
During his rehab from a car accident, Mellace says that he became addicted to opiates and medicines, which caused some health problems. He was later diagnosed with diabetes as well as liver problems, which is when he began his use of medicinal marijuana.
“Legally, I should have been dead five years ago. But, due to the use of my marijuana products that we’ve developed, I’m still here and alive to talk about it,” Mellace said, in an interview at his 680 Danforth Avenue clinic. “My diabetes is gone, the liver disorder and blood disorders that I had are gone. And I can only attribute that to marijuana.”
Mellace extracts the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the component that gives a high, from the plant, leaving behind the helpful chemicals. By putting this altered form of the marijuana in products such as lotions and creams, cookies and chocolates, Mellace feels that he will be able to help a wider audience, if he gets legal permission to dispense it.
“I can’t see someone who’s 70 or 80 years old smoking a joint. The visual just isn’t there. But I can see them having a cookie, I can see them putting a little butter in their soup,” Mellace said.
Mellace’s belief is that if you become addicted to prescribed narcotics, and you are no longer able to receive prescriptions from the doctor, you will eventually turn to the street.
By providing services at his New Age Medical Clinic, Mellace hopes to help wean those with ailments off of traditional allopathic medicine and towards alternative medicine.
“We opened up this clinic to help people. To get them off the opiates, oxycontins, heroine, cocaine … whatever we can do to help you, we’ll try and relieve your symptoms,” Mellace said.
Marijuana is currently not approved for sale as a therapeutic product, as Health Canada has not assessed it for safety and quality under the Food and Drugs Act.
Currently there are roughly 26,000 authorized growers under the federal government program which allows them to legally cultivate medicinal marijuana for ailments.