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Newshawk: "Debbie Harper3"
Pubdate: Mon, 09 Mar 1998
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/

WOMAN WAITS FOR SUPPORT FOR MEDICINAL POT

LONDON, Ont.  ( CP ) A place where medicinal users of marijuana can go get their drugs should be open within a few weeks.  Lynn Harichy, 36, who plans to open the buyers' club for pot, says she's just holding off a little while in order to line up some more public support.

"I just want to make sure these patients, when they come in I don't want them to get busted."

Harichy, who smokes up to five marijuana joints a day to subdue the pain from her multiple sclerosis, knows what that's like.  The mother of two is scheduled to appear in court April 27 on a pot possession charge.

Harichy wrote to every MP last year looking for support and recently sent messages to London Mayor Dianne Haskett and to all members of city council.  Some MPs wrote back in support, Harichy said, but she hasn't heard from city council members.

The mayor said she'll discuss the matter later this week with the city's police chief.

Marijuana possession and trafficking are against the law, but an Ontario court recently ruled the government couldn't deny medicinal marijuana to a Toronto epileptic.  The case is now under appeal.

"It's a narcotic with a lot of deleterious health effects and I'd be surprised if it were supported by the legal system," said Haskett.

The Toronto-based Medical Marijuana Resource Centre announced plans last month to open a non-profit "marijuana club" there, affiliated with clubs to open in London and other southern Ontario centres.

Members would have to provide a doctors' letters confirming they have serious or terminal diseases including AIDS and cancer in order to be allowed to buy marijuana in small amounts from the club.

Calgary Herald New Media 1998 C


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