Lawmakers And Advocates Want More Cannabis Prisoners Freed Following Griner’s Release From Russia

Lawmakers And Advocates Want More Cannabis Prisoners Freed Following Griner’s Release From Russia
MJ moment

WNBA player Brittney Griner is returning to the U.S. after the government secured her release from Russian detention after serving 10 months of a nine-year sentence for low-level cannabis possession. And while there’s widespread relief over the development, already there are calls from advocates and lawmakers to follow up with domestic reform and increased diplomatic efforts to release other U.S. citizens imprisoned abroad, including one teacher who is similarly imprisoned in Russia over medical marijuana. The White House was asked about that case at a press briefing on Thursday, and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre deferred to the State Department, arguing that “every case is different” and saying she didn’t want to get ahead of any ongoing diplomatic efforts. Griner’s drug charge and extreme sentence brought marijuana policy and criminalization to the forefront of an international conversation. As the government worked diplomatic angles to get her released, attorneys provided the Russian court with evidence that Griner was a registered medical marijuana patient in Arizona, to no avail. Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe.She is on a plane.She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT — President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022 It wasn’t clear what was going to happen with Griner, whom the U.S. designated as a wrongful detained even after she admitted to accidentally packing cannabis vape cartridges that were found on her at an airport outside of Moscow. Advocates had argued that the U.S. would have been better positioned to advocate for her release if it didn’t also have federal laws on the books similarly criminalizing people over marijuana. In the end, the U.S. managed to get Griner released and on her way to the U.S. by negotiating a prisoner swap, returning convicted arms trafficker Vikor Bout to Russia. “It took painstaking and intense negotiations, and…

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Source : Lawmakers And Advocates Want More Cannabis Prisoners Freed Following Griner’s Release From Russia

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