American Student Audrey Lorber Released by Russia, but Case Reveals a Much more Sinister Difficulty



On September 9th, we covered the continuing story of Audrey Elizabeth Lorber, a health-related cannabis patient who was arrested in Russia immediately after attempting to bring her medicine into the nation.

As we stated earlier, this was a reminder that marijuana laws in the U.S. or Canada do not apply across international borders – a lesson Lorber discovered the tough way.

Just after getting caught at the airport, Lorber was detained and charged with “attempting to import” 19 grams of marijuana. Regardless of displaying proof of her prescription, authorities advised that this held no weight in Russia, exactly where marijuana is fully illegal.

Now, immediately after more than a month in a detention centre, CBS News reports that Lorber is lastly no cost immediately after getting what could arguably be named a slap on the wrist.


A Fine and Time Served


All issues thought of, Lorber was rather fortunate. Offered the rocky relations amongst Russia and the U.S., leniency is a thing we would not count on. Thankfully, the court was fairly light with its sentence.

CBS News explains:


“Lorber, 19, was fined 15,000 rubles ($235), according to a statement released by the press service of St. Petersburg’s courts, but was credited for time served, released and exempted from paying the fine.”


The proceedings, even so, have been not as favourable. Lorber’s defence group asked the judge not to jail her for the duration of the case, but their request was denied. She then spent a month in a pre-trial detention centre.

Nevertheless, this may perhaps have been a blessing in disguise, given that the crediting of time served implies that she could have faced prison time had she not been jailed in the very first location.

Eventually, the 19-year-old pled guilty to importing marijuana.


“The People’s Article”


Laws surrounding drug violations like possession, promoting, distributing and transporting drugs all fall beneath Short article 228 of the Criminal Code.

Also referred to as “The People’s Short article,” this section has drawn a good deal of criticism, according to CBS News.

Though the law’s intent is to outline Russia’s drug laws, law enforcement typically utilizes it in a rather heavy-handed manner, typically as a type of censorship and persecution.

In 2018, about 88,000 persons have been convicted beneath Short article 228, with 41% serving time in prison.

One particular well-known case involved Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who allegedly had drugs planted on him by police. Nevertheless, huge public backlash eventually triggered authorities to drop the charges just days later, lending to the suspicion that Golunov had in reality been framed making use of “The People’s Short article.”


Why WeedAdvisor Supports Cannabis Reform


WeedAdvisor has constantly stood by men and women and groups calling for modifications in marijuana legislation. But of all the strategies prohibition has harmed the public, Russia’s is arguably the most sinister we have observed so far.

It is a single factor to prosecute marijuana customers beneath the misguided view of enforcing public security. But to knowingly use cannabis prohibition as a weapon is each deviously inventive and totally appalling.

But with talks of health-related and recreational legalization continuing to sweep across Europe, we hope that the Russian Federation will ultimately see the merits of lifting prohibition. Nevertheless, if they rely on it to silence opposition, cannabis reform is unlikely to come quickly.


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