Russia calls out US hypocrisy in maintaining criminalization

WNBA star Brittney Griner pleads guilty to cannabis charge

WNBA star Brittney Griner has pleaded guilty to illegally—but she says not intentionally—bringing cannabis vape cartridges into Russia.

In a Russian court on Thursday, the American basketball player offered a brief guilty plea for a charge that’s punishable by up to 10 years in prison in the country, where cannabis is severely criminalized. This comes as the White House, which previously deemed Griner wrongfully detained, faces increased pressure to facilitate her release.

Meanwhile, a top Russian government spokesperson asserted that there was nothing improper about the athlete’s February detention at a Moscow airport, and he signaled that the U.S. position on the case was somewhat hypocritical considering that the country also continues to criminalize people over cannabis.

“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” Griner said in court, according to Reuters, adding that she wanted to delay giving her testimony in order to prepare.

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