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Buzzkill for North Sumatra Weed Farmers Growing Five Hectares of Marijuana


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Jakarta. Two residents of North Sumatra could face the firing squad after the police stumbled on their unusual cash crop: five hectares of marijuana plants.

The suspects, identified only as L., 45, and H., 35, were arrested earlier this week in connection with the discovery of the plantation in Raorao village, in Mandailing Natal district.

“They are now under investigation by the police,” Sr. Comr. Reinhard Silitonga, the North Sumatra Police’s anti-narcotics chief, said on Wednesday as quoted by Kompas.

They face possible charges of production of an illegal substance under the 2009 Anti-Narcotics Law, for which the maximum sentence is death.

The government of President Joko Widodo has executed 14 people so far this year – all of them convicted of drug offenses – reversing a de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty under the previous president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Critics contend that the resumption of executions by the Joko administration was a face-saving nationalist ploy amid economic woes, given that the majority of death-row drug convicts are Indonesian, but 12 of the 14 people murdered by firing squad this year were foreign nationals.

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