21 US Senators Introduce Resolution Calling for Immediate Release of American Jailed 14 Years in Russia for Medical Marijuana

A coalition of 21 members of the US Senate have introduced a resolution calling for the immediate release of several American citizens currently jailed in Russia, including one jailed 14 years simply for possessing medical marijuana.

Marc Fogel, an American citizen jailed in Russia for 14 years for possessing 17 grams of medical marijuana.

US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and John Fetterman (D-PA), introduced a resolution today condemning the Russian government for their arrests of several American citizens and calling for their immediate and unconditioned release.

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Angus King (I-ME), Patty Murray (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues today and again call for the immediate release of all Americans arbitrarily detained in Russia, including Marc Fogel, a Pennsylvanian”, said Senator Fetterman. “Marc is a history teacher who dedicated the last 35 years of his life to teaching young people. When he returned for his tenth and final year teaching in Russia, Marc was detained for carrying a small amount of medical marijuana, which was prescribed by his doctor.”

Fetterman continues; “But Marc has now spent over a year of a fourteen-year sentence in a Russian prison because of a bogus ‘large-scale drug trafficking’ conviction. A fourteen-year sentence is absurd – even by Russian standards. The bottom line is that Marc’s punishment simply does not match the crime. We must bring Marc, and all other unjustly detained Americans, home”.

In December a bipartisan coalition of 15 federal lawmakers sent a letter to the Biden Administration requesting that they include Fogel in any future prisoner swaps.

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