Lawyers tell Russian court Griner had medical cannabis

STORY: U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner's lawyers have told a Russian court she was prescribed medical cannabis in the United States for a chronic injury.

That's according to a Reuters journalist at the courtroom on Friday (July 15) .

The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) star's defense team submitted documents arguing she "inadvertently" brought the vape cartridges into Russia - and had a permit issued in the state of Arizona for use of the drug.

Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Elizabeth Rood, spoke after the fourth hearing in the trial.

"I won't go into details about the proceedings, but I only say that in hearings yesterday and today what became very clear is the tremendous amount of respect and admiration both in the U.S. and here in Russia, where Miss Griner was playing basketball for seven years - not only for her professional achievements but for character and integrity. And I will emphasise again the commitment of the United States government at the very highest levels to bring home safely Brittney Griner and all U.S. citizens wrongfully detained."

Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February carrying vape cartridges with hashish oil.

She has pleaded guilty to drugs charges, which carry a prison sentence of up to ten years.

Griner has said she did not intend to break the law, and U.S. President Joe Biden has said the U.S. is doing everything it can to secure her release.

The Kremlin has downplayed the idea of a prisoner exchange, saying it is premature to discuss the possibility of swapping Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, for a Russian imprisoned in the United States.

Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the United States, was scheduled to play for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg in the off-season - a common move for WNBA players.

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