BEIJING: Having a green thumb can get you into trouble with the law – if you grow the wrong plants – as an elderly Chinese man found out.
The 62-year-old man, surnamed Tu, was arrested after he planted some 800 opium poppies in his farm in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, news portal ThePaper.cn reported.
After locating the farm, police apprehended Tu, who said he had meant to use the seeds from the poppies to season his food.
It is illegal in China to cultivate more than 500 poppy plants, as they can be used to produce illegal drugs such as opium, morphine and heroin. Violators face up to five years’ jail.
In a similar case last June, an elderly couple in Liaoning province grew more than 800 opium poppies because their flowers “looked beautiful”.