WNBA star Brittney Griner tells Russian court she was prescribed medical marijuana

Brittney Griner was reportedly prescribed the marijuana she was found with at a Russian airport (Pictures: Getty Images)

Lawyers for Brittney Griner said on Friday that she had been prescribed medical cannabis for a chronic injury when she was detained at a Russian airport for carrying vape cartridges.

Griner was detained in February at a Moscow airport after Russian officials found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her bag. She pleaded guilty to the drug charges, which could carry a prison sentence of up to ten years.

The Women’s National Basketball Association player appeared in court on Friday wearing a Nirvana T-shirt for the fourth hearing in the trial.

Griner has maintained that she did not intentionally break the law, and her defense team on Friday argued she ‘inadvertently’ brought the vape cartridges into and that she had a permit for the use of medical cannabis in the state of Arizona, where she plays for the Phoenix Mercury.

Her attorneys submitted a doctor’s note to the court on Friday (Picture: AFP)

‘The defense today provided written evidence, including character materials, medical documents and tax returns,’ Griner’s lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, 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 added.

The two time Olympic gold medalist pleaded guilty to the charge last week, telling the court she did not mean to commit a crime, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.

‘I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me, but I had no intention on breaking any Russian law,’ Griner said in court through an interpreter. ‘I was in a rush packing and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bags.’

She plead guilty three days after sending a hand-written letter to President Joe Biden, asking him to help her.

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner sits inside a defendants’ cage during a hearing at the Khimki Court (Picture: AFP)

‘I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,’ wrote the Phoenix Mercury player.

Last month, the Biden administration declared that  The aggressive verbiage signifies the US government’s commitment to secure her release as the legal case against her plays out.

On Wednesday, both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called Griner’s wife to reaffirm the administration’s commitment to securing her release as soon as possible, according to the White House.

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