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Russian Court Fines American Teenager For Medical Marijuana Possession

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A court in Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has fined an American teenager for possessing 19 grams of marijuana, which the 19-year-old U.S. citizen said she used for medical purposes.

The press service for St. Petersburg's courts said on September 17 that Audrey Lorber, who was arrested while visiting St. Petersburg with her mother, will not have to pay a 15,000-ruble ($235) fine, because she has spent time in pretrial custody since late August.

The film student at Pace University in New York was detained at the Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg after Russian authorities found the cannabis in her luggage. Although she had full documentation proving the legality of the marijuana's purchase in the United States, Russian authorities arrested her, saying that foreign documents had no legal value in Russia.

Marijuana is illegal in Russia, including for medical purposes, and possession is aggressively prosecuted.