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Czech court acquits woman who grew cannabis for medical purposes

Tabor, South Bohemia, Feb 12 (CTK) – A Czech court Friday acquitted a 53-year-old cannabis grower of drug production though not on the basis of her argument that she grew cannabis as a medicine to heal her asthma and arthritis.

In 2008 the court imposed a two-month suspended sentence with one-year probation on the woman, translator Libuse Bryndova, but the appeal court cancelled the verdict over serious mistakes and ordered that the case be discussed again.

The court did not try Bryndova for production of cannabis ointments but for inhaling cannabis dust by which the plaintiff said she misused the drug for toxicomania.

Bryndova said the inhalations softened her troubles with asthma.

Some experts say smoking marijuana can have healing effects.

Nevertheless, expert Miloslav Krsiak, who appeared in the court Friday, said there exists no reliable scientific evidence proving cannabis’ healing effect on asthma.

The judge, who acquitted Bryndova, did not take the argument about cannabis as a kind of medicine into account.

Bryndova was acquitted mainly owing to the new Penal Code that permits the growers to grow five cannabis plants at the most.

Bryndova used most of her cannabis to produce ointments, which is not unlawful, and inhaled dust of only 2.6 plants.

In addition, cannabis is a narcotic substance, therefore its growing cannot be qualified as drug production.

The police launched the prosecution of Bryndova after she appeared as a cannabis grower in a television programme. In 2006-2007 she grew at least 29 cannabis plants on her plot in south Bohemia.


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