American Basketball Star Brittney Griner ‘Wrongfully Detained’ Over Cannabis In Russia, U.S. Says While Maintaining Prohibition At Home

American Basketball Star Brittney Griner ‘Wrongfully Detained’ Over Cannabis In Russia, U.S. Says While Maintaining Prohibition At Home
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U.S. officials recently escalated their push for the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner, who was arrested in Russia in February after she was allegedly caught with cannabis vape cartridges at an airport. But while the State Department has now formally designated Griner’s case as a wrongful detention, the Russian charge itself is still consistent with the U.S.’s own federal laws prohibiting marijuana—an offense that could similarly result in a conviction and incarceration in the American athlete’s home country. The department didn’t necessarily say that they escalated the designation because they believe a person shouldn’t be incarcerated over cannabis, but the new “wrongfully detained” classification means that the U.S. is taking the position that the legal proceeding is unjust and officials will be stepping up negotiations for her release. “There will be no change, of course, to the fact that we are going to do everything we can to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner, to her family,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing last week. “There’s only so much I can say about the process for determining whether an American is wrongfully detained. It is a deliberative process.” Price pointed to 11 criteria that officials take into account when determining whether a given case amounts to a wrongful detention. For example, if the U.S. has reason to believe that due process is being impaired, that the person was arrested solely because they are a U.S. national or that they are innocent of the stated charges, that would warrant a wrongful detention designation. In this case, the new designation could simply mean that U.S. officials believe Griner did not actually possess cannabis vape cartridges and is being framed for the offense. Price said that “each case of an American detained overseas is going to be unique, and…

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Source : American Basketball Star Brittney Griner ‘Wrongfully Detained’ Over Cannabis In Russia, U.S. Says While Maintaining Prohibition At Home

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