NJ native, 26, sentenced to 7 years in Russian prison for 9 grams of pot
A New Jersey native is facing more than seven years in Russian prison after being found with a small amount of marijuana in her possession during a flight layover in Moscow.
Naama Issachar, 26, was arrested on her way to Israel from India.
According to her personal Facebook page, Issachar originally is from Fair Lawn, but most recently lived in Israel.
As reported by the NY Post, she was traveling back from a yoga sabbatical, with a layover flight in Russia, where customs agents in Moscow said they found 9.6 grams of marijuana among the 26-year-old’s belongings. The Post first noted her New Jersey connection.
In Russia, possession of more than 6 grams of marijuana is considered a criminal offense, and Issachar was sentenced last week to seven and a half years in prison.
In New Jersey — where legislators are considering making recreational marijuana legal altogether — possession of under 50 grams of marijuana is generally considered a disorderly persons offense. It is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000,
On Oct. 19, about 200 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv in solidarity with Issachar, holding signs reading "Free Naama" in Hebrew, Russian and English.
Israeli leaders consider the sentence excessive and have appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon Issachar.
Israeli officials have indicated that Russia is using the case as leverage to press for the release of a suspected Russian hacker held by Israel.
Israel is in the process of extraditing the Russian suspect to the U.S.
(Includes material Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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