WNBA player Brittney Griner was reportedly found to have drugs in her backpack by customs officers when she was traveling to Russia to play basketball.
The Russians claim that Mr. Griner concealed hashish oil in her purse, maybe in the shape of a vaporizer.
She has been detained in Russia for five months as a result of that revelation. Ms. Griner made her first court appearance in a Russian court on Friday. She was accused of concealing less than a gram of hash oil in her baggage. She might spend as much as 10 years in jail if found guilty.
Hash oil: What is it?
Hashish, sometimes referred to as hash, is a narcotic created by compressing the cannabis plant’s components with the greatest concentrations of THC. Although hash has been used all over the world for decades, it is primarily linked with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures.
Hash oil is, as one would expect, the “oil” form of hash. When cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant, a concentrated liquid known as “oil” results. The liquid is often smoked by consumers, or more recently, vaped. Similar to THC pens and typical nicotine vapes, hash oil is available in cartridges and vapes.
In the US or Russia, is hash oil legal?
Hash and hash oil are classified as Schedule 1 narcotics in the US, along with marijuana. Hash usage and possession are still prohibited by federal law, and each state has its own laws regarding it.
Cannabis use is prohibited in Russia. A fine or up to 15 days in prison are possible for anybody found in possession of less than 6 grams of cannabis or 2 grams of hash. Anything above that is considered to be in possession in violation of the law.
Ms. Griner was charged with possessing less than a gram.
What will Ms. Griner do next?
Supporters of Ms. Griner have been pleading with the US State Department to step in and secure her release throughout this period.
Cherelle Griner, Ms. Griner’s wife, said this week on CNN that she had to “push individuals” to make sure the State Department’s comments and deeds were consistent.
It’s incredibly, really challenging. The rhetoric and the behavior in this instance do not line up, she added. “Unfortunately, I have to push individuals to make sure that what they say me matches up with what they do, and juggling that has proven to be the most difficult. The absence of [Ms. Griner] has lasted more than 130 days.
At a time when the US and Russia are at odds over the conflict in Ukraine, US officials are concerned that Ms. Griner’s detention may have political overtones.
The Kremlin has categorically refuted these accusations, emphasizing that the country was only upholding its drug laws.