A Vietnamese farmer’s explanation that he was growing 300 cannabis plants as feed for his chickens so they wouldn’t get sick failed to convince the authorities.
Located in the middle of the farmer’s orange grove, the 304 carefully tended cannabis plants were found last Friday by police in the Mekong Delta region, according to The Star, citing state media.
The 42-year-old farmer reportedly told police he had bought the seeds two months ago from a friend and was using the now-grown plants, some metres tall, to feed his chickens to prevent them from becoming ill. There was no other reason for having the cannabis on his farm, he argued.
Vietnam Insider reports that the plants, which weighed 60 kg, were in plastic pots and protected by fencing. Police seized the plants and are expanding their investigation, the publication reports.
With the investigation continuing, it is not known if the farmer could face the same fate as a 44-year-old Australian man back in 2015. He was charged with drug production and possession after a feral pig was found munching on a marijuana plant. The size of the pig convinced officers to come back and collect the remaining evidence once the meal was done and the pot-loving porcine was gone.
With regard to the Vietnamese farmer’s “argument”, though, cannabis is certainly being researched as a potential treatment for conditions in animals. For example, a Warsaw zoo recently announced it would use CBD to help ease the depression and anxiety of a young elephant hard hit by a death in her family, and researchers out of the Tarleton State University in Texas are exploring if CBD can help address stress and inflammation in horses.
As for using weed as feed, even the U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding research to explore if hemp, which includes very small amounts of THC, would be safe for cows and would not produce milk that could get consumers high.
So arguing that cannabis is being grown for chicken feed as opposed to for human consumption is likely advisable in Vietnam. The country has some of the harshest weed penalties and prison terms anywhere around the globe.
It is illegal to grow, sell, possess or transport cannabis within Vietnam, according to The THC Times, with small-scale growers likely receiving fines and those cultivating large amounts facing jail sentences. It could be a jail term of six months to three years for farmers growing 500 to 3,000 plants, while as long as seven years for those cultivating even more plants.
Harder drugs like heroin and methamphetamine have prompted death sentences in the country.
Read more at The Growth Op