Ted Kindos said he is taking this weekend to reconsider an 11-page tentative deal that was supposed to put an end to a three-year dispute over a customer's medicinal marijuana use.

Late Friday afternoon, Kindos told the Burlington Post that after seeing the tentative agreement the previous day; he is now reviewing the details with his family and lawyer. He refused to comment further.

The owner of Gator Ted's Tap and Grill on Guelph Line had initially told the Post Thursday that he and local resident Steve Gibson had reached a deal over the latter's smoking outside Kindos' business.

Kindos didn't want Gibson -- who has a federal government exemption to smoke medical pot to ease neck pain from a workplace injury -- to smoke his weed too close to the front entrance of Gator Ted's. The restaurant owner believes the smoke is a nuisance to passing customers.

Gibson maintained he just wants to be able to smoke his legal joints in the same outside area among regular tobacco smokers.

The two were to lock horns at a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario hearing last week but a tentative agreement halted last week's proceedings.

Like Kindos, Gibson told the Post Friday that the deal was not official yet. Even Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario registrar Patricia Grenier said Thursday that a hearing date of May 21 is still set aside.

Kindos said the deal calls for him to pay Gibson a small amount of money, but wouldn't specify how much. Gibson said under the proposal he is to receive a nominal payment from Kindos.

"That's pretty well all he got," said Kindos prior to his call to the Post Friday.

"Did I want to fork out $40,000-$60,000 in lawyer's costs, retain my lawyer for the next eight days and be eight days away from my business and have this stress?

"We minimized our losses at the end of the day.... It's (case) put me out over $30,000," he said.

Kindos thanked Burlington MPP Joyce Savoline for her support. He also singled out several local businessmen and businesses, Andy Marcolini, Joe Dog's and East Side Mario's, for their financial help through donations and fundraisers, efforts he says will cover the majority of his legal costs to date.

However, he didn't hide that he is bitter about what he perceived as a lack of support from many of his restaurant brethren in Burlington.

"I was very disappointed in a lot of other business owners in town and a lot of associations I belong to. I hope it becomes their problem one day."

Kindos says he and other business owners like him should be worried about the potential liability for restaurants and bars when serving alcohol to someone who is a medical marijuana user and who may have lit up prior to entering their premises.

"It wasn't that he (Gibson) wasn't allowed to come back in. The point is you're (maybe) smoking a joint, which falls under the Controlled Substances Act, which falls under our Liquor Licence Act. So we can get our licence revoked if we serve (someone like) him alcohol. We're in a liability situation trying to accommodate his disability."

Kindos said he and Gibson may have sparred verbally about their case on a radio station last week but both want the human rights battle to end.

"I'm relieved and my family is relieved. It has been a long road. You will be the last (media) guy that I talk to on this because I've got to get this behind me," Kindos had said last week.

He said he will be writing Gibson an apology related to what he called unfortunate "abusive" remarks made about Gibson and his family that appeared on a website Kindos had created to garner support for his fight. He said about 1,200 signatures were received, but that about half were taken off because of what he deemed inappropriate comments.

The site has already been taken down, he said.

"I was disappointed that some of that came through the site. He's got kids," said Kindos.

Gibson told the Post the case put him and his family under pressure as well.

He said if it wasn't teenagers bugging his son at school to get pot for them, it was people calling his house or going to his residence and leaving threatening notes. He said the threats ranged from burning his house to death. Gibson said he never contacted police about it.

Source: Burlington Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Burlington Post
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