Man jailed for growing cannabis to relieve wife’s pain

An Indonesian man who grew cannabis to ease his wife’s pain caused by syringomyelia was on Wednesday sentenced to eight months in prison, his lawyer said.

Fidelis Ari Sudarwoto was arrested in February for marijuana possession, despite his insistence that he grew the plants because his ill wife depended on the drug to ease her pain.

His wife died three weeks after he was arrested.

Fidelis’s plight drew sympathy from many Indonesians, and rights groups had urged the court in Sanggau in West Kalimantan province to acquit him.

“He should have been acquitted because he did not sell or use marijuana for himself,” defence lawyer Marcelina Iin said.

In addition to jail time, the court also ordered Fidelis to pay a fine of 1 billion rupiah (75,000 dollars), or spend an additional month in jail, she said.

Iin said his client was considering an appeal.

Indonesia imposes tough penalties for drug offences.

Since President Joko Widodo took office in 2014, Indonesia has executed 18 people for drug trafficking.

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