The Russians apparently take their drug laws far more seriously than Americans do, as shown by their locking up of America-bashing Brittney Griner upon finding hashish oil in the luggage that she was transporting into Russia.
And so now she faces 10 years in prison, something that will almost certainly be happening unless Slow Joe manages to get her out of her sentence by using what diplomatic pressure the US has left or if she manages to come up with an excuse that convinces the Russian court not to lock her up; after having pleaded guilty recently, she can’t claim innocence.
So Griner is attempting to find an excuse that will get her out of rotting in Russian prison for a decade, with her lawyers making an excuse that might work in the US< but seems absurd when dealing with the hard-nosed Russians. The New York Post, reporting on that argument, noted:
Lawyers defending U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner told a Russian court on Friday she was prescribed medical cannabis in the United States for a chronic injury, a Reuters journalist at the courtroom reported.
Griner’s defense team submitted documents on Friday arguing she “inadvertently” brought the vape cartridges into Russia and had a permit issued in the state of Arizona for the use of medical cannabis.
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“The defense today provided written evidence, including character materials, medical documents and tax returns,” Griner’s lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, a partner at Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners, told Reuters.
“Among the medical documents is a doctor’s note for the substance that Brittney Griner inadvertently left among her belongings when crossing the border,” she said.
While that excuse might sound reasonable at first glance and without context, as it does explain why Griner was so dumb as to try to smuggle weed into the country, it’s utterly absurd from a legal standpoint.
Why? Because both medical and recreational cannabis are illegal in the Russian Federation. It doesn’t matter if she was permitted to smoke weed in Arizona, if she was able to carry the oil around America for “medical” reasons, or if that’s why she was traveling with the cannabis oil in the first place: it’s illegal in Russia, medical or not.
Further, the leadership in Russia is far tougher-nosed than its American counterpart. While our politicians and police might be uncomfortable locking people like Griner up for smoking cannabis, the Russians are not. Additionally, they’re against the idea of medical marijuana in the first place, as TASS reported, saying:
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia does not support the legalization of marijuana in the country, including for medical purposes. Andrey Khrapov, head of the department’s anti-drug department, told reporters about this on Wednesday.
“If a person continues to use marijuana for a long time, then, as a rule, this causes certain changes in the psychological properties. The opinion of our doctors, law enforcement agencies is against it. There is no benefit in this, no medical effect, except for worsening the situation,” he said.
Khrapov also noted that in those countries where the drug was legalized, human rights activists opposed it.
“Let’s say countries like Holland, Uruguay, Mexico, where they legalized marijuana, as a result, human rights activists, sane people in these countries come to the conclusion that this was actually a wrong, unnecessary decision. Believe me, for every type of disease, where you can would be to use marijuana for a medicinal effect, there are many pharmaceutical analogues that are better and safer,” Khrapov concluded.
So Griner’s lawyers attempted to explain away her illegal conduct by claiming that she was doing something that was still illegal in Russia…perhaps she needs new lawyers.