Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison staff deny instructing inmates to grow weed




Prison staff deny instructing inmates to grow weed

Prison staff deny instructing inmates to grow weed

Chhoun Chan Thon, deputy director of the Kandal provincial prison, strongly denied local media reports yesterday that his staff had planted a thousand marijuana plants on prison grounds and that inmates were tending to the cash crop.

Actually, he told the Post yesterday, the land was nurturing mango trees, cabbages and mushrooms. And besides, 1,000? That’s way off. There are only two marijuana plants.

He added: “We don’t know why it grows in that area  . . . We did not plant it there.”

On August 30, local media reported that Moung Sam Ath, the prison director in Kandal, had ordered  prisoners to plant thousands of marijuana seedlings for individual profit.

According to those reports, when word got around about his entrepreneurial idea for rehabilitation, Sam Ath dug up the buds and discarded them.

Prisoners are often taught vocational and technical skills to assist with their integretation back into society. Usually, though, the skills are limited to legal occupations.

Sam Ath could not be reached for comment yesterday, but he told the media that while he had, in fact, planted two marijuana trees, it was prisoners who used the cannabis to treat sicknesses such as diarrhoea – which isn’t the first time someone has attributed healing properties to the plant.  

Koy Boun Sorn, director-general of the general department of prisons at the Ministry of Interior, said that after he heard news reports, he ordered officers to conduct research at the prison, but they weren’t able to confirm the allegations.

He added: “I recognise that the old [Kandal] prison used to have two marijuana trees, but just for use as soup flavouring with chicken soup. In the new prison, we have only flowers.”

Provincial Adhoc co-ordinator Men Makara said that during visits to the prison to check on inmates, he had never seen the marijuana plants in question, just flowers.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • CDRI poll: Most happy but disappointments still exist

    A survey has found that over 70 per cent of Cambodian youths and adults approve of the direction the country is headed in, with the majority of respondents saying they had been doing better financially over the past five years. However, more than half said they

  • Drugs raid on Miami Night Club, 50 held

    Anti-drugs police raided a club in Chamkarmon district’s Boeung Keng Kang I commune in Phnom Penh early on Thursday, arresting some 50 people and confiscating drug-producing equipment and suspected illegal substances. Deputy National Police chief Mok Chito said on Thursday that police conducted the raid

  • Phnom Penh: The street food you adore, but given a refined twist

    There is no shortage of street food vendors scattered across Phnom Penh, but what is far rarer is finding a place that also has comfortable seating, good hygiene and parking. This is where Jing Ling and her five friends step in. With the concept of

  • Battambang court releases minor who shot boy

    The Battambang provincial court on Thursday released a 14-year-old boy who had been detained for accidentally firing a home-made gun and killing a nine-year-old boy in Samlot district on Tuesday, provincial court spokesman Tieng Sambor said. Sambor told The Post on Thursday that following the