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Swiss Hemp Grower Sent to Jail

May 31, 1999

MARTIGNY, Switzerland (AP) _ A Swiss court sentenced a hemp grower on Monday to 16 months in prison for producing tons of the dried plant and selling it stuffed in cushions.

Bernard Rappaz, who was found guilty of offenses under federal narcotics law, was also ordered to pay about $20,000 in fines and court costs. Hemp and marijuana are both derived from the cannabis plant.

Rappaz was convicted of producing 8.5 tons of dried hemp, and selling some of the plants in the form of cushions, which were advertised as having therapeutic qualities.

The court ordered the destruction of the hemp, seized in 1996. Three other defendants were acquitted.

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