Cannabis farmer begins house arrest

One week after ending his hunger strike, convicted pot dealer Bernard Rappaz has returned to his farm in Saxon in canton Valais.

This content was published on July 29, 2010 - 16:55

“I’m happy to be home,” Rappaz told the Swiss News Agency on Thursday. He left the Bern hospital where he had been staying late Wednesday night.

Rappaz’s property has been cordoned off and he will be under constant surveillance while under house arrest.

His first meal at home consisted of salad, lentils, potatoes, cheese and ham. Rappaz, who lost about 30kg during his hunger strike, has gained about four kilos since he began eating again on July 21.

Rappaz told the press that he was looking forward to a visit from his daughter. He is allowed to receive relatives for up to 90 minutes per week.

In 2008, the Valais cantonal court sentenced Rappaz to five years and eight months in jail for possession of 51 tons of hemp. He began his sentence in March 2010 and launched a hunger strike shortly after.

Rappaz called his sentence an “unjust and colossal punishment” and refused to eat for 110 days – with a 12-day break in between. The second part of the strike lasted for more than 50 days. He has vowed to continue his fight to legalise cannabis.

The house arrest will last until the Federal Court rules on a potential suspension of the sentence. That decision is expected by August 26. and agencies

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