Brittney Griner's defense team in Russia trial argues athlete used cannabis to treat injuries

WNBA star, U.S. gold medalist arrested in February for bring cannabis oil into Russia

Published: July 26, 2022 11:10am

Updated: July 26, 2022 1:21pm

WNBA Star Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia on drug and smuggling charges, argued Tuesday in a Russian court that she used medical cannabis to treat pain from playing. 

Griner, who plays in the off-season in Russia, was arrested in February at Moscow-area airport for allegedly having hash oil, perhaps in a vape, in her luggage.

Her defense team has said in a previous court proceedings that Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, had a doctor's note to use medical marijuana. However medical marijuana is still illegal in Russia. 

The charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. 

Griner sent a letter to Biden, which the president received earlier this month, asking him and others in his administration "not forget about me and the other American Detainees," around the world.'

U.S. officials argue that Griner was wrongful detained and calls for her immediate release. The Kremlin countered by saying the case has nothing to do with politics, amid its invasion of Ukraine, to which the United State is opposed.

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