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Jakarta Post

Man jailed for growing cannabis for now-deceased wife

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 2, 2017   /   03:40 pm
 Man jailed for growing cannabis for now-deceased wife A marijuana plant grows in a field on a mountainside in Malana village in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. (AP/Rishabh R. Jain)

A district court in West Kalimantan has sentenced a man to eight months in jail for using cannabis to treat his ailing wife, who died a month after his arrest.

The Sanggau State Court on Wednesday found Fidelis Arie Sudewarto guilty of drug abuse as stipulated under Article 111 and Article 116 of the 2009 Narcotics Law, in a high-profile case that has sparked debates about the use of marijuana as medicine in the country.  

The panel of judges also ordered that Fidelis pay a Rp 1 billion (US$75,013) fine or serve an additional one month in prison, reported.

“The panel of judges weighed three aspects—juridical, sociological and philosophical—when issuing the verdict,” presiding judge Achmad Irfir Rohman said.

The sentence is heavier than the prosecutors’ demand of five months in jail and a fine of Rp 800 million.

In his latest defense statement, which went viral on social media, Fidelis argued that he had no choice but to use cannabis to treat his wife, Yenni Riawati, after she was diagnosed with syringomyelia, a rare disorder in which a cyst forms within the spinal cord, in 2014. The statement included a letter he addressed to his late wife.

Fidelis was arrested by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) on Feb. 19 for growing 39 marijuana plants in his home. His wife died on March 25, 32 days after his arrest. (afr/ary)