Pubdate: Wed, 15 Oct 1997
Source: London Free Press
Author: Don Murray 
Section: p.A6


The London woman who has lit up the latest challenge to Canada's marijuana
laws made a brief appearance in court on Tuesday and was remanded out of
custody until Nov. 5. 

Lynn Harichy, 36, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana
last month when she attempted to light up a joint on the steps of London
police headquarters. 

The mother of two and stepmother of two grown children has multiple
sclerosis and says smoking pot numbs the pain and is superior to
prescription drugs, which can cause weight gain, blisters, a burning
sensation and insomnia. 

In Harichy's corner that day was Christopher Clay, who had just lost his
highly publicized court battle with the same laws. 

In fact, one of Clay's lawyers, Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, will
be acting for Harichy. 

Under the new Controlled Drugs and Substance Act, simple possession of a
drug like marijuana is treated as a summary conviction matter and carries a
maximum fine of $1,000 or up to six months in jail, or both. 


The marijuanaasmedicine explanation didn't get too far in another court
case Tuesday, this time in a guilty plea session of Ontario Court, general

After Hubert Nathaniel Simon of Muir Street pleaded guilty to possession of
marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and having an unregistered,
restricted handgun, his lawyer said the 52yearold man was in search of a
painkiller when he planted his backyard pot crop. 

Lawyer Tory Colvin said Simon had been forced off a steady job and onto
welfare because of arthritis and diabetes, which caused ulcers on his legs. 

"He was of a mind that marijuana might help control the pain in his leg,"
said Colvin. 

Federal prosecutor Bill Buchner said the police drug unit found Simon in
his backyard, where 14 marijuana plants were growing and had reached
heights of two to three metres. In a shed, another plant was hanging upside
down to dry. 

Buchner estimated the value of the crop at $3,000 and said it was of low
quality compared to the sophisticated growing operations found in other
busts. If this had been a hightech, hydroponic operation, Buchner
estimated, the plants would have been worth up to $750 each. 

Police also found an unregistered .38calibre revolver in a bedside table,
said assistant Crown attorney John Skowronski. Simon told police he bought
it in Niagara Falls, N.Y., 20 years ago. 

Colvin said Simon has no criminal record. He intended to share his
marijuana bounty with friends, but "it was very much a backyard operation." 

Justice Edward Browne accepted a joint Crowndefence submission and fined
Simon $800 on the marijuana charge and $100 for the gun count. 


Another marijuana farmer didn't get off as lightly in Browne's court Monday. 

Robert Lewis, 49, of West Williams Township, northwest of London, was fined
$3,000 on a charge of cultivating the weed and another $100 for possessing
the drug. 

Buchner said police got onto Lewis' operation when a young person was
caught smoking marijuana. He was aware of Lewis' setup, although he had not
obtained his supply from him. 

Buchner said police had to descend through a trapdoor in a greenhouse to
get into a basement at Lewis' home, and then squeeze through a hidden slit
in a wall. Once inside, they found 26 plants in pots and growth lights. In
another room, there were several bags of dried marijuana. 

Once again, Buchner said the plants were of poor quality and worth no more
than $3,000 or $4,000. 

Defence lawyer Paul Carter said his client, a married father of two who
runs his own courier business, is adamant that the marijuana was for his
own use and he had no intention of selling any of it. 

Carter said Lewis had been growing his own for two years and estimated
that, of his crop, only eight or nine ounces  $1,000 worth  was usable.
Lewis had no criminal record until Tuesday.