Volume 92, Issue 74

Tuesday, February 9, 1999


NEWS

Hopefuls face media grilling

Spoke opposes campaigning

Violence to be publicly addressed

Students file strike lawsuit

Alumni centre solves community conflicts

Medical use grows higher

Keep your computer safe from infection

Caught on campus

Shooting blanks

Legend

John Botting

Emily Chung

Joey Hammill

Perry Monaco

Nurup Naimji

Kalev Suurkask

SzeJack Tan

Stephen Zolis

Medical use grows higher



By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff



The medicinal use of marijuana may be on the rise in London, with the installation of at least one new compassion centre.

Lynn Harichy, London's Cannabis Compassion Centre owner, said she avoids contact with the new club for legal reasons. "We are not the only one. But we don't have any contact, so as not to get busted."

With over 200 members in Harichy's organization and 12 other buyers' clubs in Ontario, there seems to be an increase in the accessibility of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the province.

Although London police were unable to comment specifically, Sgt. John O'Flaherty said there have been no arrests since Harichy's centre established itself in London.

Tim Gatten, executive assistant to London Mayor Diane Haskett, said as far as he knows the police are handling the matter and there have not been any problems. "There haven't been any complaints from the public."

"We haven't had any problems with the LPD," Harichy said. "They're checking out club memberships and then giving back our members' medication. The only problems we've had is with our buyers getting busted."

The centre, which Harichy said is affiliated with the Medical Marijuana Centre of Ontario, provides care and compassion to terminally ill patients suffering extreme pain from various maladies and illnesses. But Harichy, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was quick to point out they are not criminals. "We're not drug dealers," she said.

While she contends the centre is a non-profit organization, run on a volunteer basis, the MMCO was quick to disassociate itself from the London centre.

"We have no ties to the London Cannabis Compassion Centre," said Peter Young, owner of a retail shop in London called the Organic Traveller, who also sits on the Board of Directors for the MMCO.

"Lynn's husband Mike is running it. He's turned it into a full-profit organization and that's not in agreement with the MMCO. Our lawyer has told us not to comment," Young said. "We don't want to get the owner busted, he'll do that himself."

While there seems to be a discrepancy in opinion between both services, Harichy and Young both said they felt the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes is important. "We're all waiting for legalization," Harichy said.

"There is no need for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes right now," said Dwight Moulin, associate professor of clinical neurological sciences with the London Health Sciences Centre. "More evidence is needed before it should be legalized."




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Copyright The Gazette 1999