Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Pot Charges in Russia

Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Pot Charges in Russia
High Times

Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to cannabis charges in a Russian court on Thursday, nearly five months after the WNBA star and two-time Olympic champion was detained at an airport near Moscow. Griner, who has been classified as wrongfully detained by the U.S. Department of State, now faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison as punishment for her conviction. “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor,” Griner said in English, which was then translated into Russian for the court. “But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.” “I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare,” she added, according to a report from Reuters. Griner, the star center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was arrested outside Moscow in February. In March, after Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine in an unprovoked attack, Russian authorities announced that Griner had been arrested while going through a customs checkpoint at an airport outside Moscow. Her arrest has prompted an international outcry from celebrities, politicians, family, and other supporters, many of whom believe that Griner’s detention and trial are being used by Russia as political leverage as the conflict in Ukraine continues. Griner’s supporters hope that her guilty plea coupled with her wrongfully detained status in the eyes of the U.S. government will make her eligible for a prisoner swap between Russia and the U.S. Arrested for Less Than a Gram of Weed Griner’s trial on charges of importing vape cartridges with less than a gram of cannabis oil began in a courtroom near Moscow on Friday. Prosecutors argued that Griner put the vape cartridges, which contained a total of 0.7 grams of cannabis oil, into a backpack and a suitcase and intended to import them into the country, according to a report from the Russian state…

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