Spliff Magazine

“I’m now prevented from helping people, I’m heartbroken.”

Project Claudia is not over yet. Toronto continues to waste resources to punish those providing needed medicine for patients – and one of the latest victims was True Compassion Toronto.

Since opening in 2015, they had determined to not only improve the lives of the clients they serve, but to also have a positive impact on the community they work within. They are an integral — and passionate — part of that community.

On February 7th, the city moved to stop all that. Rick Vrecic, one of the volunteers operating the centre, was alone when three men broke into the building. Thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and forced to watch the police destroy property in this heavy handed raid. Vrecic, a patient himself, was devastated, too.

I’m now prevented from helping people, I’m heartbroken,” he said.

Just after being released from police custody, Rick took to social media with this public message:

People have been asking me this week, why I do what I do. A little over 8 years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic back issue and nerve pain. For this I was prescribed percocet, morphine and Oxycontin. I was a walking zombie with no quality of life and became physically dependent on the opiates. 7 years ago, I was lucky enough to find Medical Marijuana and edibles.

Without that compassion centre, I would be a dead man today. I wouldn’t be able to care for my parents, my family or my members. Because of the risks that those wonderful people took I was able to kick all the opiates to the curb. That’s why we opened TCT —
I am here today because people risked their freedom for my needs.”

As we move into legalization we must ensure that we move to support the private retail model of cannabis or else those who have built this industry will be pushed out.

Article by Tracy Lamourie