China / Society

Woman sentenced for growing opium poppies

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-14 16:35

KUNMING - A woman in Yunnan province, southwest China, was given a six-month suspended sentence and fined 1,000 yuan ($163.5) for growing opium poppies, which she claimed were for medicinal use, the local procuratorate announced Monday.

The woman, identified only by the surname Zhou, lives in Xinfaying village in Qilin district, Qujing city. In 2014, Zhou learnt that poppy seed soup would help ease her husband's leg pain. Since that time she had grown 1,042 poppy plants, according to the Qilin District People's Procuratorate.

Her poppy plants were destroyed by police in March 2015.

In early July the Qilin District People's Court decided that Zhou had "committed the crime of illegally growing mother-drug plants" and gave her a six-month prison term with one year probation.

Zhou's sentence was suspended as she confessed to her crime, the court said.

Opium poppy cultivation is banned in China. Those found guilty of the illegal cultivation of less than 500 "mother drug plants", such as poppy or hemp, can be detained for up to 15 days and fined up to 3,000 yuan. The punishment for more than 500 plants includes a criminal charge, with a maximum of a five-year prison term and fine.

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