Activists Planning Marijuana Event At Russian Embassy To Advocate For Brittney Griner’s Release

WNBA: Phoenix Mercury at Minnesota Lynx
Jun 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Lynx at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The list of supporters for Brittney Griner continues to grow. According to reports, the Russian embassy that’s located in Washington D.C is going to be the site of a “smoke out” planned by cannabis activists. The event reportedly will involve the activists participating in a session of smoking marijuana, protesting and advocating for the release of the WNBA star.

Co-founder of DC Marijuana Justice Adam Eidinger issued a statement expressing how abhorred he is at the thought of U.S citizens being behind bars in Russia over marijuana use. Eidinger also believes Griner is being used as a public relations pawn in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

“Just as it’s unacceptable for Americans to sit behind bars for simple possession of cannabis, it’s absolutely unacceptable for an American sitting in a Russian Gulag. We feel compelled to protest the Russian Federation, and President Putin, who’s clearly using an American citizen as a pawn in his war against Ukraine.”

People all over the United States have banded together, using their platforms to advocate for Griner to be returned home. During the Warriors’ ring ceremony on October 18th, point guard Stephen Curry took a moment to use the platform to appeal for Griner’s release from Russian custody. Curry also wished Griner a happy birthday, as the player turned 32-years-old.

“She’s 32 years old. We want to continue to let her name be known, and we pray — it’s been 243 days since she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia — we hope that she comes home soon and that everybody’s doing their part to bring her home,” Curry said.

A Moscow Regional Court denied Griner’s appeal on October 25th. The player attempted to appeal her nine-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to narcotics possession and smuggling charges during her drug trial. During the trial, Griner testified that she had no criminal intent. Officials say Griner’s appeal hearing was held via zoom call, with the WNBA player speaking from behind the bars of the jail cell she has been detained in since February. Griner is located in a detention center just outside of Moscow.

Griner called her situation “traumatic” when speaking to the court about how she’s being kept away from her family. She pleaded for the court to reassess what went “overlooked” during her last drug trial and give her a lesser sentence.

“I’ve been here almost eight months, and people with more severe crimes have been given less than what I was given. I really hope the court will adjust this sentence because it has been very, very stressful and very traumatic to my mental and my psyche and being away from my family, not being able to communicate.”

The Russian court upheld her conviction but did agree to give her credit for time-served in pre-trial detention. Griner will still have eight years left on her sentence if she is not brought back to the United States through a diplomatic prisoner swap.

Sports Illustrated has more HERE.

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