MERSEBURG, Germany, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A German retiree accused of growing a marijuana plant said her neighbor gave her the plant as a seedling and she did not know it was cannabis.
The woman, identified in court papers as Christine W., 63, of Halle, told the Merseburg court Monday her neighbor, Bernd E., have her a seedling as a gift in May 2012, TheLocal.de reported Tuesday.
"Our neighbor Bernd knows a lot about herbal remedies. I thought it was a mimosa plant," the Bild newspaper quoted the woman as saying.
The plant, which had grown to 6 1/2 feet tall by September 2012, was found in a compost heap during a police raid on Christine's home. She said the plant had been felled by a storm.
The judge agreed Christine apparently did not know the plant was marijuana. She and her husband were ordered to pay a $136 fine, to be donated to a group working to prevent drug addiction among young people.
The neighbor, Bernd E., was sentenced in November 2012 to 14 months of probation when he was found to be making hash schnapps.