Congress Condemns Russia’s 14-Year Sentence for Medical Marijuana: Demands U.S. Citizen’s Release

Medical Marijuana Injustice: Bipartisan Efforts to Free U.S. Citizen from Russia’s 14-Year Sentence

In a remarkable display of bipartisan unity, lawmakers from both chambers are coming together to file resolutions condemning ’s actions against a U.S. citizen, who is facing a 14-year sentence due to possession of . The case revolves around Marc Fogel, a registered medical patient in Pennsylvania, who used the cannabis as an opioid alternative to manage his chronic pain, following a doctor’s recommendation. The lawmakers’ legislation highlights the belief that Fogel’s imprisonment is politically motivated and disproportionate, considering his medical need and adherence to .

The House version of the resolution is being led by Reps. Chris Deluzio (D-PA) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) with support from 13 other cosponsors. Meanwhile, Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Fetterman (D-PA), and Jon Tester (D-MT) are taking charge of the Senate concurrent resolution. Both resolutions urge President Joe Biden’s administration to intensify efforts to secure Fogel’s release from Russian custody.

The resolution emphasizes Fogel’s medical condition, noting his extensive history of surgeries and the chronic pain that has left him dependent on solutions. Medical marijuana, as prescribed by a doctor, offered him relief without resorting to . The resolution firmly asserts that Fogel’s intention was solely for personal consumption, and Russia has failed to present any evidence to suggest otherwise. His sentencing after a “politicized show trial” has been deemed vastly disproportionate to the offense committed.

In a peculiar twist, Fogel’s family was informed by a Russian lawyer that typical sentencing for low-level cannabis possession is five years of probation, raising further about the motivations behind Fogel’s harsh punishment. The resolution points out the disparities in sentencing, as Russia has levied lesser penalties for possession of significantly larger quantities of various narcotics.

Not content with mere condemnations, the resolution directly calls on Russia to release Fogel immediately, and the White House and State Department are urged to exert pressure during all interactions with Russian authorities to secure his freedom. The resolution also emphasizes the need for Russia to stop imposing excessively severe sentences on nonviolent U.S. citizens for political reasons.

Recently, Fogel’s family visited the White House to meet with high-level officials and rally support from members of Congress, drawing attention to the urgency of his case. Lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), have been unwavering in their efforts to ensure Fogel’s wrongful detention is acknowledged by the State Department.

Drawing parallels with similar cases, lawmakers have emphasized that Fogel should be designated as “wrongfully detained,” a classification that could escalate diplomatic efforts in securing his release. The State Department’s 11-point criteria for determining wrongful detentions will be closely examined to ensure Fogel’s case meets the necessary conditions.

Russia’s staunch opposition to cannabis reform on the international stage has been noted, with the country expressing concern over efforts in the U.S. and Canada. Despite the mounting pressure and concern from various quarters, the path to securing Fogel’s release remains uncertain, and the diplomatic efforts continue.

With bipartisan resolve, Congress is adamant in its fight for for Marc Fogel, underscoring the urgent need for his release from Russia’s 14-year sentence for medical marijuana possession.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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