WNBA star Brittney Griner’s lawyers told a judge Friday that the basketball star was prescribed medical marijuana in Arizona, the substance for which she is currently facing charges.
Griner, 31, has been detained in Russia since February 17, when authorities at a Moscow airport found cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage, containing less than a gram of hash oil. Her lawyers say she packed it by mistake when she came to play for a Russian team during the US off season.
Lawyer Maria Blagovolina told the court Griner’s attending physician gave recommendations for “the use of medical cannabis,” TMZ Sports reported.
“The permission was issued on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health,” Blagovolina said.
Tests submitted to the courts show Griner underwent testing to ensure she complied with anti-doping regulations. The results revealed she didn’t have any prohibited substances in her system.
Griner appeared in court last week to plead guilty to drug possession. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
Her Russian teammates have also spoke in her defense. Evgeniya Belyakova, the team’s captain, told the court that Griner was “the heart of our team,” and that she was “adored” by fans in Russia.
Reps for the Phoenix Mercury star told TMZ they are hopeful Griner’s guilty plea will be the beginning of getting her freed from Russian custody.
Brittney’s detention will continue through Dec. 20, according to the Associated Press. The trial won’t proceed till the beginning of August.
Her next hearing is scheduled for July 26.
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