Lawmakers Push Biden To Help Another Medical Marijuana Patient In Russia As Griner’s Case Gets Attention

Lawmakers Push Biden To Help Another Medical Marijuana Patient In Russia As Griner’s Case Gets Attention
MJ moment

As a Russian prison sentence handed down this week to U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner over cannabis vapes generates international outrage, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers is pushing the Biden administration to work to free a second American who is also incarcerated in the country over medical marijuana. Griner, who was sentenced on Thursday to nine years in prison by a Russian court after pleading guilty to possessing vapes she said were recommended to her under Arizona’s medical cannabis law, has been deemed “wrongfully detained” by the U.S. government—an official status that gives her access to special diplomatic assistance. She is also part of a prisoner swap offer the Biden administration made, reportedly involving an arms trafficker that Russia wants freed. But Marc Fogel, another U.S. citizen who was convicted for bringing what he also says was medical marijuana to Russia, has not been deemed to be “wrongfully detained” by his government, and he’s not part of the prisoner swap deal that’s been floated. He’s been sentenced to a 14-year sentence for just over half an ounce of cannabis. On Wednesday, congressional lawmakers from Fogel’s home state of Pennsylvania sent a letter to “strongly urge” Secretary of State Antony Blinken to include him in “any potential exchange.” “Mr. Fogel was detained on August 14, 2021, and is serving an exorbitant, 14-year hard labor sentence for possession of medical marijuana used to treat his severe back injury, a charge very similar to that of Brittney Griner,” the lawmakers, led by led by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), wrote. “Although he may not carry the notoriety of a celebrity WNBA athlete, we believe it is essential the Biden Administration work to bring Mr. Fogel safely home to his family,” the lawmakers said. “Brittney Griner’s wife…

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Source : Lawmakers Push Biden To Help Another Medical Marijuana Patient In Russia As Griner’s Case Gets Attention

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