Moscow to US: Back Off on Brittney Griner

Official says America must respect Russian drug laws
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2022 1:45 PM CDT
Moscow to US: Back Off on Brittney Griner
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner speaks with her lawyers prior to a hearing in the Khimki district court, just outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 15, 2022.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

The US considers WNBA star Brittney Griner to be "wrongfully detained" by Russia. On Thursday, a Russian official scolded the US over that characterization and said America must respect Russia's laws, reports the AP. “If a US citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and she does not deny this, then this should be commensurate with our Russian, local laws, and not with those adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. She also suggested drug laws in the US were too lax and not to be emulated.

“You understand, if drugs are legalized in the United States, in a number of states, and this is done for a long time, and now the whole country will become drug-addicted, this does not mean that all other countries are following the same path,” she said. Griner is currently on trial in Russia and has told the court she inadvertently packed illegal vape cartridges containing cannabis oil when she traveled to the country in February. She faces up to 10 years in prison, though widespread speculation in both US and Russian media suggest that some type of prisoner swap is in the works. (Griner personally wrote to President Biden.)

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