Jul 15, 2022 - World

Griner's lawyer shows WNBA player had prescription for medical cannabis

US WNBA basketball superstar Brittney Griner gets handcuffs taken off before a hearing at the Khimki Court in the town of Khimki.
WNBA basketball player Brittney Griner gets handcuffs taken off before a hearing at the Khimki Court in Russia. Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images

Brittney Griner's lawyers told a Russian court on Friday that doctors in the U.S. prescribed the WBNA star medical cannabis two years ago for chronic pain, AP reports.

Driving the news: The revelation comes on the fourth day of Griner's trial in Russia. She is facing drug charges that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

  • "The attending physician gave Brittney recommendations for the use of medical cannabis. The permission was issued on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health," lawyer Maria Blagovolina said, per AP.
  • Griner's lawyer gave the court a doctor’s letter demonstrating the prescription. It also submitted tests she completed as part of an anti-doping check, which did not turn up any prohibited substances.

The big picture: Griner last week pleaded guilty to drug charges, but she said that there was "no intent" to bringing vape cartridges containing hashish oil to Russia, per her attorney, Alexander Boykov.

  • President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have said that they are doing everything they can to bring Griner — who they consider to be "wrongly detained"— back to the U.S.

Catch up quick: Griner was detained in Russia in February after authorities found vape cartridges in her luggage. They accused her of intentionally importing drugs into the country, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

What's next: The next hearing in the case is scheduled for July 26.

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