WNBA star Brittney Griner was found guilty of cannabis possession by a Russian court on August 4. She received a nine-year sentence in a penal colony. Griner has already served nearly six months of the sentence.
In the courtroom, she apologized "for the mistake that I made." Her attorneys said the case will be appealed. "She's very upset," they said about Griner.
Griner's legal team mounted a medical marijuana defense and also said Griner mistakenly packed several vape cartridges filled with oil.
Pres. Biden stated: "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates."
The 6-foot-9 hoopster was arrested on February 16 when two vape carts were found in her luggage at a Moscow airport. While she plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the summer months, Griner has suited up for UMMC Ekaterinburg near Siberia during the rest of the year since 2015.
The State Department has already offered to swap Griner and another prisoner, Paul Whelan, for a Russian arms dealer currently locked up in the U.S.
There's been considerable public pushback against this trade. Some think Griner doesn't deserve special treatment, others say the cost is too steep.
CelebStoner supports releasing Griner (as well as Marc Fogel who's also jailed in Russia for marijuana possession) by any means necessary.