Volume 92, Issue 88

Tuesday, March 16, 1999


Safety knifed again

Pot set to blow back onto shelves

VP wants another year

Future of Ontario's universities indicated

Project gives concrete lesson to engineers

Recycling services to rise not reduce

Wine brings cheap health


Caught on campus

Pot set to blow back onto shelves

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

The fight to legalize marijuana use for medicinal reasons has been sparked again in London as the Medical Marijuana Centre of Ontario has announced plans to open up a new Cannabis Compassion Centre.

Pete Young, a board member of the MMCO, said it is planning to open a centre which provides pot for people suffering from physical pain which can be alleviated by the drug. This centre will replace the other one in London, headed by Mike and Lynn Harichy. Mike was arrested early last week for allegedly trafficking marijuana.

Young said although the MMCO supported cannabis use for medicinal reasons, he supported pot use in general. "Cannabis in any form – medical, industrial, recreational – is beneficial," he said.

Sgt. John O'Flaherty of the London police said since the MMCO is dealing with marijuana they are trafficking it, rendering their operation completely illegal.

O'Flaherty added if marijuana was to be legalized, the government would be the ones who inaugurate the law, not the MMCO. "If the medical community, after all their testing decides that marijuana does work, then they will change the laws," he said. "Until then, it's business as usual."

He added organizations such as the MMCO have only a single purpose, despite any motives they claim. "There's a certain segment of society and their agenda is to make marijuana legal."

Regarding the closure of the previous cannabis centre, Young applauded the police for their action and stance against drugs. However, he added the fight against marijuana is strongest because it's the easiest to combat. "The police see it as a very easy target," he said.

Robin Ellins, a media relations officer for the Friendly Stranger, a cannabis culture shop in Toronto, said the medicinal use of marijuana is a touchy issue with respect to the MMCO. "Obviously somebody has to push the envelope," he said. "We can't condemn them. But in the same way, we don't support them either."

Young has scheduled a meeting at his store, the Organic Traveller, on Thursday to talk about the cannabis centre and the use of pot. "The Lord didn't make crack. He didn't make cocaine. He made cannabis and it says it right in Genesis 1:12," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999