Amer­i­can man charged with vi­o­lat­ing drug laws

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

Acourt in Myan­mar has for­mally charged an Amer­i­can man and two lo­cal co-work­ers with vi­o­lat­ing drug laws con­cern­ing mar­i­juana, with po­ten­tial penal­ties rang­ing from five years' im­pris­on­ment to death, VOA re­ported.

The court in the cen­tral Man­dalay re­gion charged John Fred­eric Todor­oki with vi­o­lat­ing five sec­tions of the drugs and nar­cotics law cov­er­ing pos­ses­sion, sale and traffickin­g of il­le­gal drugs, lawyer Thein Than Oo said by phone. The de­fen­dants con­tend they were grow­ing hemp, not mar­i­juana. Both are sub­species of the cannabis plant genus.

The com­pany that op­er­ates the 20-acre (8-hectare) farm on an in­dus­trial es­tate where po­lice ar­rested the three late last month says it had of­fi­cial per­mis­sion from the Man­dalay re­gional govern­ment to grow hemp, which can be pro­cessed into CBD — cannabid­iol — a non-in­tox­i­cat­ing com­pound that many be­lieve has health ben­e­fits.

Hemp can be grown legally in many coun­tries, and is often used for mak­ing CBD prod­ucts. Myan­mar law does not seem to clearly dis­tin­guish be­tween hemp and mar­i­juana, the re­port said.

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