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Man in China Convicted for Selling Hemp Seeds Receives Compensation After 427 Days

Kong Biao, a man born in Jiangsu Province born in 1985, was taken away by police in Foshan City, Guangdong, for selling hemp seeds and was detained for 427 days.

In the first instance, the Nanhai District Court of Foshan City held that Kong's behavior constituted the crime of illegally buying and selling the original plant of drugs and sentenced Kong to imprisonment. Kong appealed, and the case was sent back for retrial. During the retrial, the Nanhai District Procuratorate withdrew the prosecution against Kong.

Kong Biao's defense lawyer Dai Guoliang said that

"..hemp could not be used directly as a drug. In this case, the public prosecution agency did not have evidence to prove that Kong Biao sold cannabis seeds. "

A lesson of this case is that the police did not professionally identify the relevant cannabis seeds when handling the case and failed to clarify the difference between industrial hemp seeds and cannabis.

On November 2, 2019, Kong Biao received the "State Compensation Decision" made by the Nanhai District Court. He received nearly 160,000 RMB ($25,000) in compensation for infringement of personal freedom, but his request for 100,000 RMB ($15,000) spiritual comforts and a public apology received support. Kong said that the case caused harm to his mental health and reputation, and he has decided to apply for reconsideration of the compensation decision.

Born in 1985, Kong Biao has been engaged in the seed business in Suqian City for many years. He is also the VP of the Shuyang County Seed Association. Kong Biao said that he opened a store and an online shop to sell hemp seeds. On March 22, 2019, Kong Biao was taken away from his store by police from Foshan City, Guangdong, and was detained on the same day. A month later, Kong Biao was approved for arrest.

According to the press of the Foshan Public Security Bureau, the first case in the country was released on June 25, 2019. The article stated that in November 2018, during the investigation of a marijuana planting and smoking case, the Nanhai Public Security Bureau seized three marijuana plants, 10 grams of marijuana leaves, and five marijuana seeds. After interrogation, the suspect confessed that the hemp seeds were purchased through Kong's online shop.

The police handled the case immediately. At the end of March 2019, the police arrested Kong Mou and his wife, Wu Mouling, a suspected seller of cannabis seeds in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province. They seized approximately 15 kilograms of suspected cannabis seeds. According to Kong's confession, the police subsequently arrested Zhang (male, 61 years old), who had supplied Kong's family at the Shuyang County Farmer's Market, Suqian City, and seized about 300 kilograms of suspected cannabis seeds on the spot. Zhang confessed that he purchased his hemp seeds from Lunan Grain and Oil Exchange Market in Linyi City, Shandong Province. The police immediately went to the Lunan Grain and Oil Trading Market to investigate three shops selling cannabis seeds. On May 19, in conjunction with the Linyi Anti-drug Department of Shandong, they carried out a raid and searched six shops suspected of selling cannabis seeds.

Kong Biao recalled that a few years ago, he saw hemp, a kind of Chinese medicine, in the medicinal material market in other places. He believes that he sells hemp seeds, which are industrial hemp, not drug hemp, so he is not guilty.

In October 2019, the Nanhai District Procuratorate prosecuted the Kong Biao case. The Nanhai District Procuratorate alleges that starting from January 2018, Kong Biao repeatedly purchased 197.5 kg of inactivated cannabis seeds from Zhang for 10 RMB per kilogram and used the online store he operated. And shops sell at prices ranging from 9.6 RMB per 30 seeds, 27.44 RMB per 20 seeds, 29.4 RMB to 108.3 RMB per 100 grams, and 60.76 RMB per 250 grams.

In March 2020, the Nanhai District Court made a first-instance judgment on this case. The Nanhai District Court stated that after investigation and investigation, Kong Biao had repeatedly purchased 170 kilos of unactivated cannabis seeds from Zhang at 5 RMB per kilo since January 2018 and through his online store and Shop sales. On March 22, 2019, the police captured Kong and his wife and seized 1,5304.9 grams of cannabis seeds. The Court held that Kong illegally bought and sold plant seeds of drugs in large quantities, and his behavior constituted the crime of illegally buying and selling original drug plants. Kong was sentenced to imprisonment for one year and two months and fined 12,000 RMB (18,000 USD).

Kong Biao refused to accept the judgment of the first instance and filed an appeal. In May 2020, the Foshan Intermediate People's Court made a criminal ruling on this case. It is believed that the facts of Kong Biao's crime of illegally buying and selling the seeds of the original drug plants were unclear, and the evidence was insufficient. After discussion by the Court's adjudication committee, Court revoked the first instance judgment made by the Nanhai District Court. Please send it back to Nanhai District Court for a new trial.

In July 2021, the "Criminal Ruling" issued by the Nanhai District Court showed that during the retrial process of the Nanhai District Court, the Nanhai District Procuratorate filed a report with the Nanhai District Court on July 8, 2021, on the grounds of unclear facts and insufficient evidence. Withdraw the prosecution against Kong. The Nanhai District Court held that the Nanhai District Procuratorate's application for withdrawal of the prosecution had sufficient grounds and complied with the law and allowed the Nanhai District Procuratorate to withdraw the prosecution against Kong Biao. When the case was a retrial, Dai Guoliang, Kong's defenders, told The Paper that during the retrial, the Nanhai District Court had opened a trial to hear the case, and the Nanhai District Procuratorate later withdrew it. Prosecute.

Dai said that one of the lessons of the case is that the relevant departments did not clarify whether industrial hemp can be grown or sold online. The Nanhai police did not identify the relevant hemp seeds professionally and failed to clarify the industrial hemp and drugs when handling the case. The difference between marijuana.

Hemp is a kind of industrial plant, which has many uses and can be used as medical materials, textile materials, papermaking materials, etc. At present, China has legalized some places to grow hemp, and online shopping platforms can still sell hemp seeds.

Dai said that hemp has no drug use value and cannot be taken directly as a drug. Foreign and Domestic Anti-Drug Provinces (such as Yunnan Province and Heilongjiang Province) classify hemp according to actual conditions and subdivide it into industrial hemp and medical material hemp. Industrial hemp's tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is less than 0.3%, and the THC content of drug cannabis is greater than 0.3%. The hemp seeds that Kong sold were industrial hemp, and the public prosecutor had no evidence to prove that Kong Biao sold drug cannabis.

Dai noted that the public prosecutor failed to identify that hemp seed THC was more than 0.3% toxic and could not prove that hemp seed was cannabis or its ingredients. Hemp seeds are from industrial hemp, and the cannabinoid contained in hemp is not psychoactive.

Since being taken away by the police on March 22, 2019, and released on May 21, 2021, Kong Biao was detained for a total of 427 days.

In August 2021, Kong applied compensation to the Nanhai District Court, demanding 1,6059.9 RMB for infringement of personal freedom, 5,000 RMB for the loss of confiscated seeds, 100,000 yuan for spiritual comfort, and a public apology to help him.

On November 2, Kong Biao received the "State Compensation Decision" issued by the Nanhai District Court. The decision shows that the Nanhai District Court held that Court should pay the compensation following the "Notice of the Supreme People's Court on the Application of the 2020 National Average Daily Wage Standards for National Workers in Making National Compensation Decisions". The claimant Kong Biao's compensation for violation of personal freedom was 15,9313.7 RMB (373.1 RMB × 427 days). Kong Biao requested 160059.9 RMB in compensation for infringement of personal freedom. The Court supported 159313.7 RMB but did not support the excess.

In response to Kong Biao's request for compensation of 100,000 RMB for spiritual comfort, the Nanhai District Court held that the "Market Access Negative List (2018 Edition)" issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce on December 21, 2018, stipulated that cannabis Planting, processing, and seed management are matters of "no specific plant planting and processing or the production, management, testing, import and export of seeds and seedlings without obtaining a license or qualification." According to evidence from the criminal case involved, Kong Biao publicly sold hemp seeds online without permission. There were promotional texts such as "Indian cannabis" and "you can get high" in the chat records, and the seeds sold may be used illegally. Kong Biao's behavior is neither in compliance with the above provisions nor in violation of Public Order and Good Customs. Article 3 of the "Interpretation of the Supreme People's Court on Several Issues concerning the Applicable Law for the Trial of State Compensation Cases to Determine the Responsibility for Mental Damage" Article 3. In one of the circumstances specified in Article 17, where the state should be liable for compensation following the law, the infringement may also be deemed to have caused a person's mental damage. However, the compensatory authority has evidence to prove that the citizen has no mental damage or that the mental damage is in violation. According to the provisions of "except for public order and good customs," it is not appropriate to determine Kong Biao's mental damage in this case.

In addition, although the media have reported the investigation of the criminal case involved in this case, The Court did not use Kong Biao's real name in the report, and the report time was before the procuratorate initiated the prosecution. There was no causal relationship with the Court's first-instance criminal judgment. To sum up, Kong Biao's request for mental damage is not justified, and the Court does not support it.

Because the request of Kong does not fall within the scope of the review of state compensation cases, the Nanhai District Court would not review and deal with this case in this case.

"I am depressed." After receiving the above-mentioned Kong Biao's 100,000 RMB spiritual comfort request and a public apology were rejected by the Nanhai District Court. He has decided to apply for reconsideration.


Is the marijuana used in ancient times in China the same thing as recreational marijuana in the West?

From a geographical point of view, hemp and cannabis are not the same plants.