Griner's Lawyers Show Court a Doctor's Note

In letter, doctor recommended WNBA star use medical cannabis for pain
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2022 7:36 AM CDT
Griner's Lawyers Show Court a Doctor's Note
WNBA star Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing in the Khimki district court, just outside Moscow, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Jim Heintz)

Brittney Griner's trial resumed in Khimki, Russia, on Friday, and a key defense argument tied her apparent use of vape cartridges to her health. Reuters reports that in the fourth hearing for the WNBA star, her lawyers told the court that Griner had been authorized to use medical cannabis back in the US as pain relief for a chronic injury. Griner's legal team submitted a doctor's letter recommending she use medical cannabis and a document from Arizona's Department of Health that authorized her to do so, as well as other supporting medical records. They noted that Griner had "inadvertently" packed her vape cartridges, which contained hashish oil, when she was preparing to fly to Russia in February.

Griner's defense team also submitted paperwork showing she'd undergone anti-doping tests, and that those tests didn't find any banned substances in her system, reports the AP. In addition, her lawyers provided 20 or so character references from various sports groups and charities, per NBC News. At the request of Griner's defense team, the hearing was then adjourned till July 26 so that they could have more time to prepare.

Griner, who pleaded guilty to the drug charges against her, could see up to 10 years behind bars if convicted. Griner's attorneys say they expect the trial to end in August, though her detention has been authorized through December, "suggesting the trial could last months," per the AP. President Biden has said he's working toward her release, and there have been rumors that a prisoner swap with Russia could lead to that. Russian officials, however, have so far dismissed that possibility. (More Brittney Griner stories.)

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