A college student from New York City was arrested and is being held in Russia for allegedly possessing a few grams of medical marijuana, authorities said.
Audrey Eliza Lorber had 19.05 grams, about two-thirds of an ounce, of cannabis in her belongings when she was searched at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, according to a statement by the St. Petersburg court system.
Authorities said Lorber's contraband was for medicinal purposes but that the "patent for marijuana use in a medical program issued in the United States that the accused carried with her does not apply to the territory of the Russian Federation," according to the St. Petersburg court statement.
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That statement was issued on Sept. 2, but did not say when the alleged offense occurred.
"We are aware of the reports of a U.S. citizen was arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia," the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Monday.
"We take seriously our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment," the statement said.
Lorber is a student at Pace University in New York, the school confirmed. She calls herself an aspiring filmmaker on her LinkedIn page.
"I’m working to help get Audrey home as soon as possible because no American citizen should be held in jail for a medical condition," Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., said in a statement over the weekend.
Rose represents the New York City borough of Staten Island where Lorder lives.
A woman who picked up the phone listed for Lorber's Staten Island home declined to comment on Monday.
Rima Abdelkader is a senior reporter for Social Newsgathering at NBC News in New York.
David K. Li
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.