The billionaire founder of acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberte, was charged in French Polynesia on Wednesday for allegedly growing cannabis on his private atoll, his lawyer said. The Canadian entrepreneur was released after being formally charged with possession and cultivation of narcotics. Detained on Tuesday, Laliberte is suspected of growing cannabis plants in a container on the atoll of Nukutepipi, which forms part of the Tuamotu island group in French Polynesia. Under French law, he risks 10 years in prison if convicted. In practice, however, growers of pakalolo, the Polynesian name for cannabis, are not sent to jail over small quantities unless they are repeat offenders. "This case is a distressing banality," his lawyer Yves Piriou told AFP, adding the cannabis in question was for "medical and personal consumption and nothing else," while Laliberte said he found the charges "a little funny" as he left the courthouse in Papeete. His company Lune Rouge emphasised in .