Volume 93, Issue 18

Thursday, September 29, 1999


Councillor asks for student vote on pay

Cola deal foes flat at U of T

Pot charges put on shelf by crown

Toronto police prevent march to take back night


Buzz Mecca

Caught on campus

Pot charges put on shelf by crown

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

A London resident's battle to legitimize pot took centre stage Monday, when her trial resulted in the charges going up in smoke.

The trial's defendant, 38 year-old Lynn Harichy, said she uses marijuana for medicinal reasons to alleviate her pain from multiple sclerosis. She was arrested for lighting a joint on the steps of a London police station in protest two years ago.

Harichy said her trial lasted less than a minute. "I was there for about 46 seconds," she said.

She added her fight to legalize marijuana was far from over, even though she could be arrested again. "It depends on [the police]. Obviously, I'm not going to give this up.

"Unless I go to the bikers for my pot, I'm going to have to grow it myself," she added.

Sgt. Gary Harding, of the London Police, confirmed the charge of marijuana possession against Harichy was stayed and would not be pursued further by the federal prosecutor.

Alan Young, Harichy's lawyer, said the public record of Harichy's trial indicates he gave the crown prosecutor, Kevin Wilson, information indicating Harichy's health was deteriorating. On compassionate grounds, he said, the judge decided to stay the charges.

Young said he thought the crown prosecutor knew Harichy's case would result in a stayed verdict because of her medical condition. "They've known that for a while, but it took a long time to get to this point," he said. "I don't want the federal crown cast as a saint in this case."

Young added bringing the crown to a stayed verdict was difficult. "I would say I brought them to that conclusion kicking and screaming. To me, it was a no-brainer. One joint, one political statement, failing health – it should have been done a long time ago," he said.

Bill Buchner Jr., standing officer for the crown prosecutor, refused to comment on the proceedings of the trial.

Harichy said her husband, Mike, is scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 5 for the charges of marijuana possession and trafficking. "He's still looking for a lawyer. Right now, we're out of money, we'll have to use the public aid," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999