A Russian court sentenced U.S. citizen and WNBA player Brittney Griner to nine-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday for smuggling cannabis oil into Russia in February.
The sentence appears to be in line with the established Russian penal code, which outlines criminal penalties for those convicted of violating the state’s law on the circulation of cannabis.coding state Those convicted of such crimes “may be sentenced to 8 to 20 years in prison, or even life imprisonment if the crime is particularly large (in the case of cannabis, this means more than 10 kilograms)”, according to a recent international law report. An article was observed in Consulting Services CMS.
According to an April 2021 article by CMS titled “Russian Cannabis Laws and Legislation,” Russian law prohibits the use of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes.
“Cannabis is included on List I of Narcotics and Psychoactive Substances. The circulation of List I substances is subject to the strictest government controls,” CMS wrote.
The statement is supported by a copy of the List of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors Subject to Control in the Russian Federation, published on the World Trade Organization website. “List I” of the file include “Cannabis (marijuana) [sic]. “
“Depending on specific circumstances, violations of the rules for the circulation of cannabis may be punished under different provisions of the Russian criminal code,” CMS said.
The legal advisor detailed the criminal penalties faced by people convicted of violating cannabis circulation laws in Russia, writing:
According to Article 228.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, the unauthorized manufacture, sale or delivery of narcotic or psychotropic substances, their analogues or plants containing narcotic or psychotropic substances (including marijuana) is punishable.
Depending on various factors (such as the volume or weight of the illegally produced or sold marijuana; whether the crime was committed by an individual or an organized crime group, etc.), a convicted person may be sentenced to eight to twenty years in prison if the crime is particularly large (for marijuana , which means more than 10 kg), may be sentenced to imprisonment or even life imprisonment.
Garner this week was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison for “drug smuggling”, seemingly not deviating from Russia’s established drug laws.
Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency reported on August 4 that the Moscow Khimki City Court found Griner guilty of “drug smuggling” report.
“The court hereby finds the accused guilty under Article 228.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, storage, transport or possession of narcotic drugs without intention to sell) and Article 229.1.2 of the Russian Criminal Code (significant drug trafficking),” Judge Anna Sotnikova Say.
Russian authorities arrested Griner on February 17 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo-AS Pushkin International Airport after airport officials found a cannabis oil vaporized pen holder in her luggage. Airport police detained Griner on suspicion of drug smuggling into Russia.Griner plead guilty On July 7, she was convicted of trying to smuggle drugs into Russia. However, Griner said she left the cannabis oil in her suitcase while she was in a hurry to pack, and that she attempted to travel with the substance “without criminal intent.”
Griner is a professional athlete and currently a member of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Griner won gold medals in the U.S. women’s basketball team at the 2014 and 2018 World Championships and the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. Just before her arrest, Griner played for Russia’s UMMC Yekaterinburg women’s basketball team.
Russian authorities register nearly 180,000 drug trafficking crimes across the country in 2021, “compared to the previous year, the number of such crimes has decreased”, Statista Observed March 1.
“After a sharp decline in drug-related crime in the country between 2000 and 2005, its number grew over the following decade, reaching 236,900 in 2015,” the statistics portal said.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other watchdog groups have criticize Russia’s strict criminal code stipulates that the distribution of extended sentences for convicted drug offenses is too harsh.