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Old lady in court for growing poppies

By Ke Jiayun (Shanghai Daily)

15:00, May 08, 2013

A 78-year-old woman who planted 820 poppies as a cure for her arthritis was sentenced to three months in detention with a three-month reprieve and fined 1,000 yuan (US$162) for growing narcotic plants by the Pudong District People's Court.

The rural woman surnamed Fan is suffering from knee arthritis despite different therapies. A year ago, she learned that boiled poppy shells could cure arthritis, so she got poppy seeds from others and sowed the seeds in her private plot.

Local officials found the poppies growing in her field in an anti-drug survey. As a result, Fan was detained and her poppies seized.

Prosecutors said the amount of poppies Fan grew was enough to incriminate her for illegal cultivation of narcotic plants. She was given a lenient sentence because of her advanced age.

The same crime can bring a sentence of up to five years in prison.

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