Canada: Lynn Harichy And Her Husband Will Handle The London Outlet
Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Pubdate: February 14, 1998
Author: Dave Rider, Sun Media Newspapers
POT 'CLUB' TO OPEN HERE
LYNN HARICHY AND HER HUSBAND WILL HANDLE THE LONDON OUTLET
TORONTO -- "Marijuana clubs" in London and Toronto -- as well as six similar outlets across Southern Ontario -- plan to openly sell pot to medicinal users.
In a bold move they know will put them on a "collision course" with the law and possible life sentences for trafficking, pot activists held a news conference Friday to announce their grand opening.
"We are not a band of back-alley drug dealers looking to make it big," said Neev Taiero, involved with the Toronto club, Medical Marijuana Resource Centre ( MMRC ).
"MMRC exists because we believe that people are suffering unnecessarily."
The 50-member club has worked in the shadows for almost two years but will be openly affiliated with similar non-profit clubs starting up in London, west Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, Guelph, Peterborough and Kitchener, said operator Warren Hitzig.
Members will be restricted to those with doctors' letters confirming they have cancer, AIDS/HIV, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, paraplegia/quadriplegia, epilepsy, glaucoma and intractable pain, including arthritis.
But those with letters proving they have any other diseases alleviated by pot intake, as well as anyone over 65, can also get the free memberships, Hitzig said.
Each location will keep less than 30 grams of pot on hand and will deliver orders to members, charging "much less" than the street value of about $90 for seven grams in Toronto and as little as $50 for the same in London.
Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young said the clubs fill the gap between the user and a recent Ontario court ruling -- now under appeal -- that the government can't deny medicinal marijuana to Toronto epileptic Terry Parker.
"( But ) any way you slice or dice it this is probably an illegal activity . . . an act of civil disobedience," said Young, who has received no response to his letter to the federal officials asking them to negotiate with the clubs.
The London location will owned by Lynn Harichy, 36, a multiple sclerosis sufferer whom Young will defend in April on charges of pot possession, and operated by her husband Mike.
London police Friday showed no sign they'd break with past practice in dealing with the new outlets, if established in London.
"We're dealing with people who have their own agenda, which is to legalize the use of marijuana," London police Sgt. John O'Flaherty said Friday. "They've just jumped on the medical bandwagon to further their own cause."
Medical Marijuana Buyers Clubs of Ontario will be opening a club in London by late March. London hemp shop owner Pete Young, a "vocal supporter" of the buyers' club, said anyone interested in joining can pick up an application at his shop, Organic Traveller, at 343 Richmond St. Potential members must have their doctor complete the application. Young estimated there are "a couple of hundred cases" of patients who use marijuana as a medicine in the London area. The club's location has not yet been set, but once it has, Young said, he is hopeful club officials can "open a dialogue" with London Mayor Dianne Haskett and the London police. For more information, call Young at 432-4367. -- Julie Carl, Free Press Reporter