HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania’s two U.S. Senators are teaming up with others to push for the rescue of a Pennsylvania man incarcerated in Russia.

In a letter to the secretary of state, Sen. Pat Toomey (R), Sen. Bob Casey (D), and other senators ask that Marc Fogel’s case be categorized as “wrongfully detained.” That could give the U.S. more muscle to get him out diplomatically.

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According to the letter, Fogel was teaching in Moscow when he was caught with less than an ounce of medical marijuana, which is illegal there. He was sentenced to 14 years at a maximum-security penal colony.

“Mr. Fogel, a 61-year-old with severe medical conditions, has already been detained for a year. The United States cannot stand by as Mr. Fogel wastes away in a Russian hard labor camp,” the letter says.

The letter continues, “Marc Fogel has served as an international educator for 35 years in Malaysia, Mexico, Colombia, Oman, Venezuela and, for the last nine years, in Russia. Students and parents from all these countries, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, have celebrated Mr. Fogel’s infectious teaching style. In August 2021, Mr. Fogel was flying back to Russia to teach at the Anglo-American School in Moscow, which educates the children of American and other international diplomats, for one last year before retirement.”

A doctor recommended that Fogel use medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, according to the letter. He brought 17 grams of marijuana into Russia, it says.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) also signed the letter.