Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has written to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to ask him to pardon an Israeli-American who was jailed for drug smuggling.\r\n\r\nRussian authorities found 9 grams of marijuana in Naama Issachar\u2019s luggage during a layover between flights from India to Israel. She told her sister she accidentally left it in her bag when flying home, and she has now been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years.\r\n\r\nThe charge was initially cannabis possession, but it was upgraded to drug smuggling. Rivlin has been speaking to her family, and he agreed to write a letter to Putin asking him to consider a pardon.\r\n\r\nHe said she admits to making \u201ca grave mistake\u201d, but he added that such a long sentence could have a \u201cterrible\u201d impact on her life. \u201cBecause of the particular and individual circumstances of Naama Issachar\u2019s case, I am appealed to the president's mercy and compassion with a request for his personal intervention to grant her an extraordinary pardon,\u201d said Rivlin.\r\n\r\nIsaachar was born and raised in New Jersey and moved to Israel at 16. She had been travelling after completing a period of military service for Israel.\r\n\r\nHer family claims that she is being punished disproportionately to pressure Israel into freeing a Russian held in Israel on a U.S. extradition request. Another American caught with cannabis in Russia was fined 15,000 rubles ($230) by a Russian court and released because she had spent several weeks in custody while awaiting a court hearing.\r\n\r\nSome commentators claim that Isaachar has been used as a political pawn in an effort to free the Russian held in Israel. Alexei Burkov is in the process of being extradited to the U.S., where he is suspected of committing cyber offenses.\r\n\r\nRivlin thanked Putin for Russia\u2019s help in locating the remains of an Israeli soldier killed by Syrian forces in a 1982 battle, and urged him to show mercy to Isaachar. Putin will consider the request once it arrives via the diplomatic channels.