Source: London Free Press Author: Greg Van Moorsel, Free Press Reporter Pubdate: March 10, 1998 Contact: MEDICAL POT CLUB AWAITS SUPPORT A pot-smoking London mom says she still plans to open a marijuana buyers' club in London for medicinal users of the narcotic, but wants to line up more public support first. Lynn Harichy said Monday the proposed outlet should open within a few weeks, but she wants to make sure its members won't be arrested. Harichy said she wrote to every MP in Canada last year looking for support and recently fired off e-mail messages to London Mayor Dianne Haskett and to all other members of city council. Some MPs wrote back in support, Harichy said, notably from the Bloc Quebecois, but she hasn't heard from city council members. "I just want to make sure these patients, when they come in -- I don't want them to get busted." Harichy got no such assurance from Haskett on Monday. Haskett said the operation of the club would violate the Criminal Code, a matter she'll discuss this week with police Chief Julian Fantino. "It's a narcotic with a lot of deleterious health effects and I'd be surprised if it were supported by the legal system," she said. RELIEVE SUFFERING Harichy, 36, who has multiple sclerosis, said she smokes up to five marijuana joints a day to subdue her pain. She believes others in pain should also be able to get marijuana cheaply and hassle-free to relieve their suffering. The Toronto-based Medical Marijuana Resource Centre announced plans last month to open a "marijuana club" there, affiliated with similar non-profit clubs to open in London and other southern Ontario centres. Club members would be allowed to buy marijuana in small amounts. Members would be restricted to those with doctors' letters confirming they have serious or terminal diseases including AIDS or HIV, cancer, muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis. Harichy said the likely location for the London club would be the same building as the Organic Traveller, a downtown hemp shop on Richmond Street. Marijuana possession and trafficking are against the law, but an Ontario court recently ruled the government couldn't deny medicinal marijuana to a Toronto epileptic. The case is under appeal. Harichy, a mother of two, faces a pot possession charge with a scheduled April 27 court date. With files from Free Press reporter Jonathan Sher Copyright (c) 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.