American Student Arrested for Bringing Healthcare Marijuana to Russia

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More than 100,000 men and women have been arrested for weed possession in Russia final year, and police on a regular basis use cannabis prohibition laws to persecute activists and marginalized members of society.

An American teenager could invest the subsequent 3 years of her life in a Russian jail for bringing healthcare marijuana into the nation.

Audrey Elise Lorber, a 19-year-old film student at Pace University in New York City, visited the Russian city of St. Petersburg with her mother this July. Lorber’s holiday came to an unfortunate ending, nevertheless, when customs officials at Pulkovo Airport found that she was carrying a smaller provide of healthcare marijuana in her bag.

Lorber had just more than 19 grams of pot on her individual, along with a permit legally permitting her to use this medicine in her house state. This healthcare use permit carries no authority in Russia, nevertheless, and Lorber was arrested and charged with drug possession. “The defendant’s patent issued in the US on marijuana use as component of a healthcare plan does not extend to Russian territory,” court documents mentioned, according to The Moscow Instances.

Final spring, Russia announced that any person wishing to travel to the 2018 Planet Cup could bring healthcare marijuanaor any drug of their option — into the nation, as extended as they had a valid healthcare prescription from their nation of origin. Clearly, these guidelines have been only short-term and are no longer valid.

Lorber pleaded guilty, and has been serving time in Kresty Prison for a month when awaiting her trial, the date of which has not however been set. If convicted, the teen could face a fine of about $600, be forced to do in between 20 days and two years of mandatory labor, or be place in jail for as extended as 3 years. Some media outlets think that she will only be fined, but Lorber will stay in prison till she has been attempted.

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Cannabis reform has been sweeping the globe given that the turn of the 21st Century, but the wave of legalization has not reached the shores of the former Soviet Union. Russian drug prohibition laws are amongst the most punitive that the planet has ever noticed. As opposed to the US, exactly where federal prohibition continues even although most Americans help legalization, the majority of Russian citizens in fact want their government to toughen drug laws and boost penalties for customers.

Final year, more than 100,000 Russians have been thrown in jail for minor cannabis possession. Activists report that cops also use cannabis prohibition laws as an excuse to persecute marginalized members of Russian society, like liberal journalists or LGBTQ+ neighborhood members. Police have reportedly utilised Tinder to trick young gay guys into bringing cannabis to a meetup place, and then forcing them to either spend a bribe or be charged below the country’s intense drug laws.

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