Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Pubdate: April 17, 1998
Author: John Miner -- Free Press Reporter


Lynn Harichy says she's sorry she ever started her campaign to legalize
marijuana for medical use.

The 36-year-old Londoner with multiple sclerosis says she's found the
campaign tiring and expensive.

"I'm just getting tired of the whole issue. I just want it to go away," she

Harichy is charged with marijuana possession after protesting the law by
trying to light a marijuana cigarette on the steps of the London police
station. She expected to be charged and planned to challenge the marijuana
law in court.

While her lawyer, Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, has offered to
waive his fee, Harichy said it will still cost her $20,000 to bring in
expert witnesses.

It is money she said she doesn't have.

"I didn't know it was going to cost this much," she said.

"I really thought that all I needed to do was tell my story and that would
be the end of the legal part. How naive I am. This issue is a full-time job
without pay."

A benefit to raise money is being organized for April 25 at 8 p.m. at the
Embassy Hotel in London, she said.

Harichy said smoking marijuana relieves constant pain in the back of her
head and down her spine and the uncontrollable spasms. The drugs that she
has been prescribed have had severe side-effects, she said.

"When I use marijuana the worst side-effect I have found is the legal
system," she said.

While Harichy said she is tired of the fight, she still plans to open a
medical marijuana buyers' club in London, which will supply marijuana to
people who have a medical certificate from their doctors.

She said the idea has drawn a lot of support from London doctors, who have
been signing the certificates for their patients.

In March, Harichy met with federal Health Minister Allan Rock in
Tillsonburg to urge him to press for changes in the law.

Rock said he took seriously Harichy's plea to legalize marijuana for
medical use.

He said he and Justice Minister Anne McLellan have asked senior civil
servants to review the implications of legalizing marijuana for medical
purposes and hoped to have a response for Harichy within months.

Copyright (c) 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.