By Hunter Dublin | July 22, 2022
According to the Washington Post, Brittney Griner's lawyers told a Russian court that doctors in the United States suggested she use cannabis to alleviate her severe pain. Griner's fourth appearance in the Russian court was for bringing cannabis-containing vape pens into the country. Weeks prior, she pled guilty to the accusations hoping to expedite the process.
Griner said in her guilty plea that she packed the two vape cartridges containing 0.702 grams of cannabis by accident - while packing for Russia.
Also, Maria Blagovolina, a partner at the law firm Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin & Partners, read a medical certificate indicating that Griner was recommended medical cannabis by doctors in the United States as a treatment for chronic pain and other conditions during her defense presentation. The trial was eventually postponed until July 26.
During a court hearing on Thursday, the director and captain of Griner's Russian squad provided character proof in her defense. Her attorneys anticipate that she will face five hearings before being sentenced. If convicted, Griner risks ten years in a Russian correctional camp.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States During the Thursday and Friday hearings, "what became clear to us was the tremendous amount of respect and admiration both in the United States and here in Russia where Ms. Griner has been playing for seven years now, not only for her professional achievements but for her character and integrity," according to the US Embassy in Moscow.
Griner has been jailed since April and is being held "wrongfully," according to US officials. In May, Russian news outlet TASS claimed that Russia would be prepared to swap Griner for Viktor Bout, a Russian detained in the United States following an arms-dealing conviction. Bout's life was featured in the 2005 film "Lord of War," and he received a 25-year jail term in 2010.
Russian officials have stated that no prisoner swaps or other diplomatic solutions are possible before her sentencing.