Volume 92, Issue 85

Wednesday, March 10, 1999


London ranks low on safety scale

Conflict motion creates conflict

Harichy arrest not for medical reasons

U of T cashes in Varsity Blues rights

Debating both pros

New rez struts its stuff in video

Prof excellence rewarded

March the month for vehicle violations


Caught on campus

Caught on campus too

Harichy arrest not for medical reasons

By Lindsay Isaac
Gazette Staff

The Harichy family has hit another hurdle in their battle to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Michael Harichy, husband of Lynn Harichy, who owns the Cannabis Compassion Centre in London, was arrested Monday for the possession and trafficking of marijuana.

Until his arrest, Michael Harichy had been running the centre in his wife's place due to her multiple sclerosis. Lynn has been fighting for years for the legalization of marijuana for those with certain medical conditions.

Michael was arrested after London police obtained a warrant and seized marijuana from the centre. The police had reason to believe marijuana was not being sold for medical reasons alone, said Det. Insp. Dave Lucio of the criminal investigation division of the London police.

"The drug was sold to an undercover officer upon request and [Michael] was dealt with accordingly. As we had bought from him on more than one occasion, we issued a warrant on the place, seized the drugs and made the arrest," Lucio said.

In reference to the arrest, London Mayor Dianne Haskett said she felt the police acted accordingly. "I can presume that the police would not have laid charges unless there was a breach of the Criminal Code," Haskett said.

Lynn said her husband never sold marijuana to the narcotics officers. "My husband did not sell pot to the narcs because they did not have a membership card or a doctor's note and he then chased them out," Lynn said.

Lynn explained undercover officers came into the centre last Thursday wanting to become members as well as volunteers. She said her husband denied them membership and told them only members could volunteer.

"The cops came in the next day, Friday, with a warrant and arrested him," Lynn said. "They also claim that they purchased marijuana at the centre on Feb. 19, but on that day we had none to sell," Lynn added.

Lynn said she started the centre with Peter Young, who is the owner of the Organic Traveller and spokesperson for the Medical Marijuana Club of Ontario.

Young said he and the MMCO have disassociated themselves from the centre on the advice of legal counsel. "Neither myself or the MMCO are connected in any way with Mike Harichy. We have had nothing to do with the London Centre for the past seven months."

Young said he discovered Michael was selling recreationally out of the centre shortly after he took over control from his wife. "I was hearing about back deals and the way he was running the centre was against the criteria of the MMCO," Young said.

The rules of the MMCO require a person to own a membership card in order to purchase marijuana from the centre.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999