Griner’s defense speaks at trial
The drug trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner in a Russian court focused on testimony that cannabis, while illegal in Russia, is regarded in other countries as having legitimate medicinal use. Griner has acknowledged that she was carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil when she was arrested in February at a Moscow airport, but she contends that she had no criminal intent and that the canisters ended up in her luggage inadvertently because of hasty packing. “We are not arguing that Brittney took it here as a medicine. We are still saying that she involuntarily brought it here because she was in a rush,” defense attorney Alexander Boykov said after the session in which a Russian neuropsychologist testified about worldwide use of medicinal cannabis. “The Russian public has to know, and the Russian court in the first place has to know, that it was not used for recreational purposes in the United States. It was prescribed by a doctor,” he said. Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.