SWISS HEMP FARMER NEW PRISONER IN THE WAR ON PLANTS
29 MONTHS OF PRISON FOR GROWING HEMP
On 6 July 2007 the Swiss Federal Court of Appeal (Kassationshof) confirmed the sentence of 29 months imprisonment against André Fürst, owner of the company Chanvre-Info and member of the Steering Committee of the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD).
André Fürst was condemned for the cultivation of hemp and the manufacturing of hemp products to be used as a food supplement, in body and health care or as a substitute to plastic. Chanvre-Info is one of the most respected European companies engaged with the promotion of the hemp plant, its culture and its values for human kind. It is recognised for its high level professionalism and has never made any secret about its activities.
Unfortunately, it seems that André’s real crime has been the open and transparent way in which he has carried out his activities. Chanvre-Info has designed and erected exhibitions about hemp in various official conferences including in the European Parliament, hosted a multilingual website with up-to-date information about the qualities and uses of hemp and supported political activism against its prohibition.
In June 2007, André was elected member of the Steering Committee of the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD), a platform of 150 organisations from 26 European countries involved in political lobby and activism to end the war on drugs. In the community of drug policy experts he is known for his commitment to promoting drug policies that effectively minimise harm to consumers and their surroundings.
Nevertheless André Fürst will now become another prisoner of the war against plants, in a country that is usually considered as one of the most rational in Europe where drug policy is concerned. Swiss justice has sown a wind but they will harvest a storm.
ENCOD will never accept a prison term for André Fürst. In the coming weeks, we will prepare the presentation of the case to international courts, not only for the sake of our friend and colleague but for the sake of the millions of people who run the risk of being criminalised and ruined each day because of the prohibition of a plant which has accompanied and benefitted human kind for more than 10,000 years.
When laws are so unjust, resistance becomes an obligation.