Senate Resolution Calls For Release of Russian Cannabis Prisoner Marc Fogel

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Marc Fogel received a 14-year sentence for “large-scale drugs smuggling” after he was found in possession of just half an ounce of cannabis in Russia in August 2021. While legislators have made many attempts to assist Fogel in returning to the U.S., there has been little traction in the effort.

Most recently, the U.S. Senate approved S.Con.Res.18 on June 4, which argues that Fogel was using medical cannabis legally in Pennsylvania for a variety of pain he suffers from. “Marc Fogel has undergone three back surgeries, a spinal fusion, a hip replacement, and two knee surgeries to correct various injuries and health issues, which have left him with chronic back pain and a permanent limp,” the resolution stated. It continued to explain that Fogel chose not to rely on opioids to treat his pain, and instead was prescribed medical cannabis.

Unfortunately, the “Government of the Russian Federation has presented no evidence to the contrary,” but still sentenced Fogel to serve a sentence of 14-years in a Russian penal colony. 

Sponsor Sen. Bob Casey, spoke on the Senate floor on June 5 after the resolution had already passed. That pain came from a hip replacement. It came from multiple back surgeries, multiple knee surgeries, and a spinal fusion, which has left Marc with a permanent limp,” said Casey. “Marc’s worsening medical conditions and actions to bring in less than an ounce of marijuana into Russia should not require him to serve the full 14-year sentence and a Russian penal colony—14 years imprisonment for less than an ounce of marijuana.”

Casey also addressed that a Russian lawyer told Fogel’s family that low-level cannabis possession usually led to five years probation, and previous offenders have received a lesser sentence when more cannabis was involved. “Marc Fogel’s sentence is vastly …

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Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

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