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Man arrested growing opium poppies for sick mother in backyard

2014-07-25 10:18 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

A man in Daqing, Heilongjiang province was arrested for growing and harvesting opium poppies in order to make painkillers for his elderly mother, media reported on Thursday.

Zhang, 62, was arrested on July 16 after police discovered him growing the illicit plant in his backyard and his sister's neighboring yard over an area covering 88 square meters.

Zhang told authorities he decided to cultivate the poppies for his 84-year-old mother, who suffers from lung tumors, in place of expensive pain killers.

Zhang's mother underwent surgery seven years ago and still suffers from pains.

The elderly woman has since developed an opium addiction, Zhang said.

Zhang has been detained by police and currently awaiting trial.

According to Chinese Law, the private cultivation of more than 3,000 opium poppies is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

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