Brittney Griner's Defense Team Argues Cannabis Was Prescribed As Painkiller
Brittney Griner's defense team is arguing that her cannabis use is purely medicinal, amid the Phoenix Mercury star's ongoing drug trial in Russia where she had been held since February. Griner had been caught carrying the drug at a Moscow airport, where it is illegal.
"We are not arguing that Brittney took it here as a medicine. We are still saying that she involuntarily brought it here because she was in a rush," defense attorney Alexander Boykov said at Griner's trial, Tuesday.
He added: "The Russian public has to know, and the Russian court in the first place has to know, that it was not used for recreational purposes in the United States. It was prescribed by a doctor."
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
If convicted, Griner faces up to 10 years in prison. Her legal team hopes that her medical excuse and lack of criminal intent would at least bring her sentence down.
Maria Blagovolina, another of Griner's lawyers, said: "We have a lot of mitigating factors. So we do hope that the court will take it into consideration. And the courts in Russia, in fact, have very broad discretion with regard to the sentence."
Griner has received an outpouring of support from fans, politicians, members of the media, other athletes, and more throughout her five-month-long detainment in Russia.
The trial is expected to resume Wednesday afternoon.