26-year-old Israeli-American sentenced to 7.5 years in Russian prison for 9 grams of weed

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/12/26-year-old-israeli-american-s.html

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I hope for her sake that Netanyahu submits to Putin’s shakedown (as rotten as it is), because she’ll get no help on this from Il Douche.

A good reminder that if you connect between two countries by going through a third, you frequently will have to go through its customs control. If the third country is run by kleptocratic authoritarian gangsters like Russia is (or like certain Americans want the U.S. to be), plan accordingly.


I’m a stoner and there’s no way I’d ever travel with any pot on me; especially not across international borders.


That’s not an attempt to blame the victim, by the way.

I’m just saying that as both a woman and a person of color, I try to be extra cautious whenever outside of my personal domicile; because the world is unfair, the system is rigged, and damn near everything seems like a trap set up to imprison certain segments of the populace.


The best part is she may have been set up to begin with.

I was told to watch out in Prague, because a common scam was for someone in a bar to sell you bullshit then you immediately get stopped by cops who will let you pay a “fine”.

(This was in reference to some countries further east and russia, prague itself didn’t seem to care)


I would never publicly say if I did or didn’t, but I think people have a right to a private life, and we shouldn’t let the fact technology is advancing change that.

It’s weird that border agents pull records of convos fifty years ago they’d have zero access to, but then claim law enforcement is "going dark"and needs to backdoor all the things. Watch an older Forensic Files episode. A ton of them would have not made it to TV nowadays because they would have pulled CCTV, cell tower records, or cc purchase data to narrow the suspect pool.

Anyways, back to my “executive” time blasting podcasts on my shower speaker while reading the news


Is pot legal in Israel? It’s not in the US federally, so it didn’t sound smart even without going through a third country.

It’s legal here in Canada, but each province has its own variation of the laws (no edibles or grow your own in this province) which may impact travellers within the country.

But lots of warnings against travelling with it, too easy to forget when going some place. Even if you go to a US state where it’s legal, you go through federal authority and they can nab you. It’s not clear about people coming to Canafa, but likely isn’t smart. At the very least maybe nabbed on the way, but since tge point if legalizatuon was to get rid of the blackmarket, I’m not sure if Cannabis from outsife the country is considered having “illegal origins”. At least if people come to Canada, they can buy it legally.


was accused of smuggling (paragraph “c” of part 2 of article 229.1) and possession of drugs (part 1 of article 228 of the Criminal Code), lawyer Alexander Tayts told Mediazone.

In the baggage, to which the girl did not have access, she found 9.6 grams of hash.

(Google translate)

IANAL, but it seems in Texas it could be 2-20 years for possession plus 3 years for importing (federal).


No idea: I simply presume it’s illegal in more places than not, and so I just wouldn’t take the risk of carrying at all.

If the pot was planted on the young woman in question, as some people seem to suspect, that is supremely fucked up.

I don’t put it past any entity that has power over people’s lives.


One of the many arguments against harsh drug laws: it’s too easy to fake the crime to fairly give a long sentence.


As a pasty white cis male even I wouldn’t take weed across state lines much less an international border.


Don’t blame ya; “the complexion with the connections and the protection” only goes so far, if one is not also rich & powerful.


Israel can play hardball too when they feel like it. Maybe some crony of Putin finds himself in trouble in Israel soon.


Reminder to self: never take a connecting flight through Russia. In fact, avoid Russian airspace all together. I should have learned this from Baryshnikov & Hines decades ago.


it just not story about weed, but about a country which acts as organise criminal would.
Using someone who just travel to their airport in a connection flight, and forgot 9 gram of weed as a bargaining chip in order to release someone who stoled millions from Us citizens. and when released will get a job with Putin intelligence service. The US and israel should at least give warning not to fly to Russia, even as a connection flight. why this 9 gram of forgotten weed in a bag, should be an issue that Putin and bibi and soon Trump would need to talk about ?


Yeah, given how many people have gotten caught up in draconian nonsense when they hadn’t even deliberately or knowingly carried some small quantity of the drug (i.e. literally a speck of it was supposedly found on their clothing)… and how often people get set up by authoritarian forces for political gains (e.g. this situation) or by smugglers or as training exercises gone wrong, I never even assume they made a decision to carry drugs in the first place.

(This is why there are certain countries I will never visit - I figure my decision to not ever carry drugs on me will have no bearing on the potential for arrest for that crime.)

Partially decriminalized, it appears:


Its a fair bet that in none of the countries where Cannabis is tolerated or partly/fully legal, is it okay to bring the stuff into the country on a commercial flight. That is certainly the case in Australia.


Years back, I read this pretty harrowing non-fiction account of an American guy to whom the same thing happened. The protagonist is kind of an unsympathetic douchebag, but even so, the conditions he was subjected to were horrible. It was a really interesting read. So very, very many layers of venial corruption.


Excellent point, that.


I get away with it a lot, though a Romanian acquaintance tells me it’s because I have that naive, wide-eyed innocent look about me that I can’t shake. You would not believe what a non-descript person can get away with.

If you ever need to move something, as a friend, call on me. I’ll be your huckleberry… :strawberry: (It’s a strawberry, I know).

But yeah, no Thailand or something like that.


On the contrary, I would.

I’ve known some boosters and grifters in my day.