Brittney Griner Provides Prescription for Medical Cannabis as Evidence During Trial in Russia

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Brittney Griner returned to court this week in Russia following her guilty plea on July 7, when she admitted she had “inadvertently” traveled with hashish oil.

“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” Griner said at the time.

Over the past week, Griner and her lawyers were able to formulate a testimony. On Friday, she showed that she has a prescription for medical cannabis to treat a “chronic injury.” She had previously applied for – and received – a permit in the state of Arizona, but she did not have it at the time of her arrest.

“The defense today provided written evidence, including character materials, medical documents and tax returns,” Griner’s lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, told Reuters. “Among the medical documents is a doctor’s note for the substance that she inadvertently left among her belongings when crossing the border.”

Brittney Griner Hopes for Lenient Sentencing After Guilty Plea

With her apologetic admission of guilt, Brittney Griner and her lawyers are hoping for the most lenient sentencing possible. The 31-year-old currently faces up to 10 years in prison under the charge of “large-scale transportation of drugs.” She was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 with vaporizer cartridges in her luggage.

On Thursday, a Russian basketball director served as a character witness. They preached her “outstanding ability” and “personal contribution to strengthening team spirit.”

However, in Russia, a guilty plea does not bring the trial to an end. There is no timetable for the trial, which sources say has been “theater.” Regardless, Griner’s lawyers are giving it everything they have to try to earn their client as “fair” of a result as possible.

“We of course hope for the leniency of the court,” Blagovolina said to reporters outside the courtroom. “Considering all the circumstances of the case, taking into account the personality of our client, we believe that the admission of guilt should certainly be taken into account.”