Baltimore Sun

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.

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