A 36-year-old Kaohsiung man surnamed Chao (趙) was arrested last year for importing cannabis seeds and growing marijuana. He may appeal his five-year sentence on the grounds that he was not growing the marijuana plants for drug purposes.
According to the appeal, Chao claims that he wanted the plants for decorative purposes and had no intention of producing or selling illegal drugs.
Chao purchased six cannabis seeds online from the UK in April 2016 for £85 (NT$3413) and received the deliver on June 17, UDN reported. He was sentenced to five years in prison this past October for illegal import of controlled substances and the manufacture of drugs.
Chao researched how to cultivate the seeds and began growing them in his rental office. Authorities raided his office on December 29 last year. Police seized eight fully-grown plants, three seedlings, and dried marijuana leaves.
He admitted to growing the plants but denied any intention of using them for illegal drug use. He said he was curious about the plants and liked how they looked.
The judge argued that possession of the plants is still illegal in Taiwan, even if there is no intention of using or selling it. The judge added that if it was only out of curiosity, why did Chao buy six seeds and cultivate more plants? Chao may still appeal the ruling.