The Cannabis “Documentary Big Pharma doesn’t want you to see”
The long awaited documentary film, JACK’S GARAGE, released in October 2020, “follows the extraordinary journey of one man’s transformation as he discovers the power of cannabis, bringing his body back from death’s door and his life into balance.”
You might think that after two years of legalization in Canada, you’ve heard everything about cannabis. But no matter how much you think you know, you will learn something from this film – about the extraordinary power of cannabis, about illness and about healing. And how following your own path can make all the difference – not only for yourself, but for others.
This important film is an incredible story of healing – how one man healed himself and, quietly, became a legend for his work helping others, who quite literally came from around the world to sit at his table in a town called Kingsville, Ontario.
That man? Canada’s Jack Kungel. 10 years ago, Jack Kungel was a guy in his fifties facing a death sentence. He was diagnosed with bladder cancer and a slew of other medical conditions ushering him into an early grave. Prescribed 22 different pharmaceutical medications, Jack’s health was in ruins. He couldn’t work, and could barely walk. With nothing left to lose, Jack educated himself on the benefits of cannabis therapy. He changed to a plant-based diet, opened his mind, and transformed his life. Today Jack enjoys full mobility and a cancer free life. You won’t even find an aspirin in his medicine cabinet. As word spread, people started arriving at his door, and on his website, desperate for help. His mission, to help whenever asked, and teach those with no hope how to take control of their bodies, their health, and their future. To date, he has helped thousands of people and pets from around the world. Jack’s Garage is an extraordinary tale of one man’s medical transformation and of those who followed in his footsteps.
Described by many as a legend, Kungel is well known in the natural health and medical cannabis communities – but unknown to the general public – something the passionate film-making team behind this project are determined to correct.
Kim Saltarski has produced over 400 hours of television content on past projects and his previous documentary work has been seen on CBC, Amazon Prime US and BravoCanada. Saltarski, half of the filmmaking team, says that for him, the project is truly personal. “In the winter of 2014, I received a melanoma stage 3B cancer diagnosis. Luckily, a friend of a friend shared his miraculous story of how he used FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil) to cure his melanoma and lung cancer. I did some research and quickly added it to my natural healing protocol. Here I am, 6 and half years later without cancer anywhere in my body and feeling healthier and more purposeful than ever.”
Karen Wookey, the other half of the team who has herself produced over 500 hours of television is well known for her work both in film and on CBC and Discovery. She says this story is personal for her, too. “For the past couple of decades I have explored the power of medicinal plants and herbs to heal mind, body and spirit. I work with herbs daily for my general health and well-being, and slowly I discovered the power of cannabis hiding behind its recreational popularity. When I met Kim and was introduced to many people with miraculous stories, I felt compelled to help reveal the long repressed science and truth about this plant and its miraculous power to heal.”
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Kim and Karen about the making of the film and about their personal relationships with the cannabis plant.
Tracy Lamourie : What compelled you both to take on this subject?
Kim Saltarski: In the winter of 2014, I had a melanoma stage 3B diagnosis. Luckily, a friend of a friend shared his miraculous story how he used FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil) to cure his lung cancer and melanoma. I did some quick research and quickly decided to add it to my natural healing protocol. Here I am 6 and half years later without having spread anywhere in my body and feeling better than ever.
Karen Wookey: For the past couple of decades I have explored the power of medicinal plants and herbs to heal mind/body/spirit and have travelled to South and Middle America many times working with Ayahuasca and San Pedro. I work with herbs daily for my general health and well being, and slowly discovered the power of cannabis hiding behind its recreational popularity. When I met Kim and was introduced to many people with miraculous stories, I felt compelled to get the information long repressed out there. What surprised you most?
Kim Saltarski : How ignorant I was about the many medical benefits of cannabis and the existing science behind why it works for some many people and pets. Plus, I was overwhelmed by the selfless, pay-it- forward attitude I discovered within the medical cannabis patient community. Especially in the Do-it-yourselfers. What they’re doing is what the mainstream medical community should have been focusing on decades ago, especially after the discovery our Endocannabinoid system.
Karen Wookey: What surprised me most is how deliberate the effort to suppress the power of this plant has been throughout our lifetime.
Tracy Lamourie : What was the most difficult thing about the process?
Kim Saltarski : Educating myself on all the nuisances of accessing, growing, making and consuming cannabinoid medicine. Surprisingly, finding people willing to share their success stories on camera was not the hard part.
Karen Wookey : The resistance to the evidence, and stories of so many who have found relief. The stigma still exists due to decades of public perception embedded in the notion that cannabis is solely for getting high.
Tracy Lamourie : What is the one thing you most want people to understand?
Kim Wookey : Cannabis is not a one size fits all, cure all medicine. But for many people and pets, it can bring ones body into homeostasis (balance) like few other natural or synthetic medicines. I highly encourage everyone to research if it might help them or a loved one in minor or life-changing ways. And like the main subject of “Jack’s Garage”, Jack Kungel, says, “If your doctor doesn’t believe in cannabis, find yourself another doctor.”
Karen Wookey: Like any plant medicine, cannabis is an ally that requires respect and the willingness to take responsibility for your own health and life. We are so used to popping a pill for a quick cure, when you work with the plant and assist its ability to return your body to its natural state, miracles happen.
Tracy Lamourie : Tell us about your personal journey with cannabis.
Kim Saltarski: In addition to my personal medical story, since I am a filmmaker, I realized that I could help destigmatize all the misinformation and negative propaganda about cannabis and its users by documenting the intimate stories of those who choose that path to natural healing. Our 35 minute Jack’s Garage documentary is the first of hopefully many of those stories. I continue to be incredibly inspired and overwhelmed by the range and number of people willing to open their lives to our cameras.
Karen Wookey : I grew up in the cannabis decades and so was an occasional recreational user, I still am. As I became involved with other plant medicines, and learned cannabis has always been considered a “teacher plant” in indigenous cultures, I began to work with it differently and noticed its ability to connect me to my body during meditation, yoga, or physical activity. Since working with Kim and meeting Jack Kungel, I have begun to explore the plant as a medicinal herb and now grow and consume its medicine in the form of butter, tea, infusions and oil.
Tracy Lamourie : Do you think there is less stigma today than 5 years ago?
Kim Saltarski: Definitely. But we have a long way to go on the medical use of cannabis. People need to continue to research, question and challenge key government, medical and insurance gatekeepers to make the medicine truly affordable and accessible.
Karen Wookey: There is certainly less stigma than 5 years ago, but there is a lot of misinformation about the plant. And because of the legislation around THC, the potential and importance of the role the whole plant plays in healing is sadly misunderstood.
Tracy Lamourie : How have people who have seen the film so far reacted to it?
Kim Saltarski : People are shocked when they discover the history and science behind the plant. They also react very strongly to the film’s amazing main subject, Jack Kungel, and the rollercoaster of emotions he shares on his dramatic journey. And how he has selflessly dedicated himself to share his knowledge with thousands around the world. Plus they are amazed by the range of illnesses Jack has helped including: skin cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart conditions, opiate poisoning, pain management, to name a few.
Karen Wookey : People react with genuine surprise to learn of the incredible power of this plant to heal. Everyone loves Jack, hard not to, and are generally full of questions by the end.
Tracy Lamourie : What’s next for this creative team?
Kim Saltarski: We are feverishly working on a TV series/feature pitch to major broadcasters/streamers and funders inspired by Jack’s Garage. The main difference is we would focus on patients from the very first time meeting guides like Jack Kungel to the natural conclusion to their healing journey. And along the way, we’ll take a deeper dive into the science, history and politics of why plant-
based medicine has been regulated as a last resort instead of the first resort. Plus, we’ll track Dr. Ira Price’s ground-breaking cannabis research into helping the mainstream medical community fully understand integrate it. It’s incredibly exciting.
Tracy Lamourie : Dr Price is epic, I did a lot of his first media releases…
Karen Wookey: As the majority of the stories in Jack’s Garage are retelling of journeys that came before, we have always wanted to follow a handful of people who are just embarking on their path with Cannabis. To unfold the process, folding in the science, bringing in doctors, seeing the effects in real time with brain scans, blood work, MRI’s and other measures of healing. We believe this is important to add weight to the endless anecdotal success stories.
Tracy Lamourie : When and how do you most enjoy consuming cannabis if you do?
Kim Saltarski: I use a homemade CBD tincture every morning, then THC dominant, homemade extracts every night to help with sleep and boost my immune system.
Tracy Lamourie : Indica, sativa, or hybrid?
Kim Saltarski : Since my use of cannabis is primary medicinal, I use Indica or an indica dominant hybrid.
Karen Wookey : I use only Indica, and grow my own. I make canna butter, and infusions which I drink at night before bed (best sleep ever) and now and then will smoke it in very small amounts.
The 35 minute documentary Jack’s Garage is available for viewing on YouTube and Vimeo On Demand. More info can be found at : http://www.jacksgaragedoc.com/
View the trailer:
Professionally, Tracy Lamourie is the award winning CEO and Creative Director of Lamourie Media. Personally she is a long time activist and member of Canada's cannabis community. In her writing work she often combines her interest in cannabis and her interest in media, working to ensure a positive representation of cannabis consumers and cannabis business across North America and beyond.