Taiwan: Bird-Feed Shop Selling Marijuana
Newshawk: ONDCP ADS - Weapons Of Mass Delusion
Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jan 2003
Source: Taipei Times, The (Taiwan)
Copyright: 2003 The Taipei Times
BIRD-FEED SHOP SELLING MARIJUANA
The owner of a bird-feed shop in southern Taiwan was arrested for selling marijuana seeds in the guise of pigeon feed, the Coast Guard Administration said yesterday.
Administration law enforcement agents raided a feed shop in Luchu, Kaohsiung County Friday afternoon and arrested the owner, Chuang Yung- sen, 49, and seized 39.8kg of marijuana seeds.
Police said that the seizure was the largest in years. The seeds, if germinated, could yield a profit of about NT$4 billion ( US$116 million ), they added.
According to law, marijuana seeds can be used as bird feed as long as they are first heated to render them incapable of germinating.
The interior of the seeds are sometimes used in Chinese medicine or food additives. Taiwan currently allows the import of such seeds if they are verified as having been baked in the same location where they were harvested.
Administration officials said that they were tipped off last year that the shop was selling marijuana seeds. They managed to get hold of some of the seeds and sent them to the Investigation Bureau for analysis. They were later confirmed to be live marijuana seeds.
Chuang, who has run the shop for more than 20 years, told police that he only sells the seeds to established customers and has already sold more than 10 kilograms from the current stock.
Police said that the marijuana seeds had been imported from mainland China.
Chuang told investigators that he brought the seeds for NT$65 per kilogram from wholesalers and sold them for NT$100 per kilogram. The seeds are used to feed racing pigeons, Chuang said, adding that birds on this diet are hardier and more likely to fly back to its their own cages.
Police noted that five to eight live marijuana seeds sell for NT$100 in local pubs, and if the more than 39.8kg of seeds were all live and had been planted, they would have resulted in a huge harvest.
Chuang claimed that he didn't know that the seeds were live. Police suspected that some of the seeds he sold may have already been planted, and they are continuing to find out more about the upstream suppliers.
In Cannabis Fidelis